Mesenteric cyst lymphangiomas (MCLs) are rare benign tumours of unknown aetiology seen mostly in children. Clinical presentation can be diverse ranging from incidental abdominal cysts to an acute abdomen. A 24-year-old previously fit and healthy young man presented with a 2-week history of cramping, central abdominal pain and vomiting requiring acute hospital admission. He was a diagnostic conundrum despite extensive preoperative investigations. Recurring symptoms required urgent surgical exploration, resection and histological confirmation with a successful outcome. We review the literature and present here this rare case in an adult of MCL that has the potential to grow, invade and develop major life-threatening complications.