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Surg Endosc. 2003 Jan;17(1):161-2. Epub 2002 Oct 29.

Small bowel incarceration in a broad ligament defect.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Armentières Hospital, 112, rue Sadi Carnot, B.P. 189, 59421 Armentières Cedex, France.


We report the case of a 33-year-old woman whose medical history included three normal pregnancies without previous abdominal or pelvic surgery. She presented with small bowel obstruction. An abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan study revealed air fluid levels in the pelvis. Laparoscopic exploration revealed a viable ileal loop incarcerated through the mesoligamentum teres. The intestinal loop was reduced and the broad ligament defect was closed with a laparoscopic absorbable clip. Among internal hernias, hernias through a defect in the broad ligament represent only 4-7%. Defects within the broad ligament can be either congenital (ruptured cystic structures reminiscent of the mesonephric or mullerian ducts) or secondary to operative trauma, pregnancy and birth trauma, or prior pelvic inflammatory disease. CT scan may be diagnostic by showing incarceration of a dilated intestinal loop in the Douglas pouch with air fluid levels. This is the first reputed case of a totally laparoscopic repair of a bowel incarceration through a broad ligament defect.

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