Laparoscopic repair of post-traumatic diaphragmatic hernia with mesh insertion
Epublication WebSurg.com, Sep 2011;11(09). URL: http://websurg.com/doi/vd01en3407
Traumatic injuries of the diaphragm are rare (0.8%-5.8% of all blunt trauma). Early diagnosis is difficult, and many reports have described delayed presentation of diaphragmatic hernia with subsequent significant morbidity and mortality. We report a case of an acute diaphragmatic hernia in a 47-year-old male presenting 4 years after the traumatic episode (significant fall from a ladder). The patient was admitted to the emergency department with severe vomiting and dehydration. Once the patient was stabilised with fluid resuscitation and nasogastric tube aspiration, an urgent CT-scan was performed. This demonstrated a large defect within the left hemi-diaphragm, associated with herniation of both the antrum and body of the stomach, into the thoracic cavity. At laparoscopy, a large rupture of the left hemi-diaphragm with herniation and rotation of the stomach was confirmed. The hernia was reduced laparoscopically, and the defect repaired with interrupted, non-absorbable polyester sutures (Ethibond 2/0, Ethicon) and a composite mesh (Proceed™, Ethicon). The patient made an uneventful recovery. Emergency repair of the diaphragm is usually performed via a thoracotomy or/and laparotomy. In our experience, if the patient is haemodynamically stable and major organ injuries have been excluded, a laparoscopic approach can be considered safe and effective.