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The First Reported Case of Morel-Lavallée Lesion and Traumatic Abdominal Wall Hernia: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Youssef Shaban, Adel Elkbuli, Vasiliy Ovakimyan, Shaikh Hai, Mark McKenney, Dessy Boneva

(Department of Surgery, Kendall Regional Medical Center, Miami, FL, USA)

Am J Case Rep 2019; 20:1492-1496

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.918223


BACKGROUND: First described in 1863 by French surgeon Victor-Auguste-François Morel-Lavallee, the Morel-Lavallee lesion (MLL) is a closed traumatic soft-tissue degloving injury. These lesions most commonly occur following motor vehicle collisions (MVCs). The pathophysiology stems from a shearing force that causes separation of the soft tissue from the fascia underneath, which disrupts the vasculature and lymphatic vessels that perforate between the tissue layers. Timely diagnosis and treatment are imperative, as a delayed diagnosis can lead to complications. However, at present there is no universally accepted treatment algorithm.
CASE REPORT: A 60-year-old morbidly obese woman presented after being involved in an MVC. She complained of abdominal tenderness in the right lower quadrant, with no evidence of peritonitis. Cross-sectional imaging revealed hemoperitoneum and a traumatic posterior abdominal wall/lumbar hernia on the right, with multiple contusions in the subcutaneous abdomen. The patient was taken to the operating room and underwent an exploratory laparotomy that revealed a large abdominal Morel-Lavallee lesion (MLL) along with a traumatic abdominal wall hernia (TAWH). There was also a mesenteric avulsion injury with an associated ileocecal injury. The patient underwent resection of the involved bowel, with primary anastomosis, debridement of the abdominal wall degloving injury, and expectant management for the hernia defect. She recovered from the injuries and was doing well when followed up in the clinic, with follow-up to repair the hernia in the near future.
CONCLUSIONS: More research is needed to provide surgeons with evidence-based standardized therapies for dealing with these rare pathologies to ensure optimal patient outcomes.

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