Abdominal lymphangiomas are rare benign cystic tumors that can become locally invasive and often require resection. They arise in all ages and have a variable presentation. We performed a retrospective review of a single institution surgical experience with this lesion in adults. The pathology prospective database was reviewed to identify patients with surgically resected abdominal lymphangiomas from January 1986 to May 2004. Retrospective review and follow-up was performed for each patient. The six patients with abdominal lymphangiomas ranged in age from 38 to 66 years. They presented with a variety of signs and symptoms. All underwent CT scan that demonstrated a cystic lesion, but in only one third was the diagnosis made preoperatively. Tumors were located in the retroperitoneum, small bowel mesentery, liver, and pancreas. Five of the six tumors were completely resected. Two of the six required resection of adjacent or involved organs. Follow-up ranged between 6 months and 18 years. All had symptomatic relief after resection, and no patient showed evidence of recurrence in this time period. Abdominal lymphangiomas are rare. The correct diagnosis often remains elusive until tissue is obtained. The treatment of choice is complete surgical resection. When completely resected, these lesions seem not to recur, and the overall prognosis is excellent.
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