Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (MALS) Treatment in Santa Monica
One of the more complex gastrointestinal-related disorders is median arcuate ligament syndrome, or MALS. This condition is a congenital disorder where the diaphragm is located lower in the body, resulting in the median arcuate ligament pressing on nerves of the celiac plexus and celiac artery. While MALS is not a gastrointestinal condition, it can cause distress to the stomach, esophagus and intestinal tract due to compression of the nerves in the celiac plexus. Dr. Danny Shouhed is a top general surgeon who offers median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS) treatment in Santa Monica.
MALS and related conditions are often misdiagnosed. Many doctors will focus on the location of the symptoms and never uncover the source of the problem – pressure on the celiac artery and celiac plexus. MALS patients can suffer from a variety of associated issues, including post orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a disorder in the autonomic nervous system. Other related conditions to MALS include gastroparesis and connective tissue disorders, all of which can affect the gastrointestinal system.
MALS is a rare condition, and the majority of the symptoms present in the digestive system, which is why it is often misdiagnosed or overlooked. The pressure on the celiac plexus can cause disruption of the normal function of the stomach, diaphragm, small intestines and other organs connected to this bundle of nerves. While not all MALS symptoms are connected to the digestive system, they are often the ones that are most uncomfortable. Some of the symptoms include:
- Pain after eating
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Unexplained substantial weight loss
- Exercise and positional discomfort
Since the symptoms of MALS are similar to many other digestive disorders, the source may be overlooked. Diagnosis of MALS requires using a CT scan or ultrasound with contrast and the physician and technicians performing scans must be familiar with MALS and know how to recognize the condition from the tests. Once diagnosed, a MALS treatment plan can be established, which may include injection therapy or surgery to relieve pressure on the celiac plexus.
MALS diagnosis and treatment requires the expertise of a physician that has experience with this rare disorder. If you have symptoms of MALS and need accurate diagnosis and treatment in Santa Monica, contact the office of Dr. Danny Shouhed to schedule an appointment.