Publication: Delayed presentation of posttraumatic diaphragmatic hernia
BACKGROUND Missed diaphragmatic injuries after trauma may present with herniation of intraabdominal organs into the thoracic cavity. We aimed to review our patients who presented with delayed posttraumatic diaphragmatic hernia. METHODS A retrospective review of the medical records of patients with delayed diagnosis of posttraumatic diaphragmatic hernia between 2001 and 2009 was performed. RESULTS Ten patients with a mean age of 44.3 years were included. Six patients were female. Blunt injuries (n: 7) were more common. Mean duration between trauma and presentation to the hospital was 5.9 years (4 months - 19 years). Nine patients had left-sided diaphragmatic hernia. All patients had chest X-ray and most were diagnostic (n: 8). Additional diagnostic imaging with computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) was used in seven patients. For the repair, laparotomy incision was chosen for seven patients and thoracotomy incision for two patients. One patient underwent left thoracoabdominal approach. Mesh repair was used in seven patients. Postoperative mean hospitalization was 10.6 days. Empyema and atelectasis were the morbidities in one patient. No postoperative mortality was detected. CONCLUSION Delayed presentation of posttraumatic diaphragmatic hernia is a serious challenge for trauma surgeons. Prompt diagnosis and treatment prevent serious morbidity and mortality associated with complications such as gangrene and/or perforation of the herniated organ. Key Words: Diaphragmatic hernia; delayed presentation; posttraumatic; traumatic diaphragmatic injury.