Recurrence in a Laparoscopically Repaired Traumatic Diaphragmatic Hernia: Case Report and Literature Review




Introduction: Traumatic diaphragmatic hernia (TDH) develops infrequently following a traumatic diaphragmatic rupture (TDR). As TDR is frequently missed due to lack of sensitive and specific imaging modalities, a high index of suspicion for such injuries is essential, whether immediately posttraumatic, or even decades after the trauma. We describe a rare case of recurrence in a laparoscopically repaired TDH and review the current literature on the same. Case Presentation: A 23-year-old male with a history of primary laparoscopic repair of left-sided TDR two years ago presented with symptoms of acute large bowel obstruction. His chest X-ray showed a left-sided pleural effusion and a loop of the bowel in the left hemithorax, but no signs of free gas. An abdominal X-ray (AXR) demonstrated massively dilated large bowel with distension of the small bowel. At laparotomy, the obstructing lesion consisted of the large bowel with omentum herniated through the left hemidiaphragm, consistent with a left recurrent/chronic diaphragmatic hernia. The diaphragmatic defect was repaired with interrupted nylon. The patient made an uneventful recovery. Conclusions: Recurrence after repair of TDH is a less reported condition (with only two published articles) and little is known regarding the factors responsible for this. Laparoscopy is an excellent diagnostic tool, but currently management is probably best performed via an open technique using heavy non-absorbable suture material to prevent recurrence. Long term follow up of these patients should also be considered.