Never to be missed again – an analysis of 55 consecutive cases of traumatic diaphragmatic hernia

Keywords: traumatic diaphragmatic hernia, diaphragm, hernia, diaphragmatic injury

Abstract

Background: This report reviews our clinical experience with 55 cases of traumatic diaphragmatic hernia at a Brazilian university hospital. Traumatic diaphragmatic hernia is an uncommon injury and presents diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Occasionally, it is missed in trauma patients and is usually associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This analysis aimed to improve the diagnostic outcomes of trauma patient care.

Methods: Retrospective design analysis of database records of trauma patients at HC-Unicamp were performed to investigate incidence, trauma mechanism, diagnosis, herniated organs, associated injuries, trauma score, morbidity and mortality.

Results: Fifty-five patients were analysed. Blunt trauma was two-fold more frequent than penetrating trauma and was associated with high-grade injury; motor vehicle collision was the most common mechanism. Left-sided hernia was four-fold more frequent than that on the right side, although critical injuries were more frequently associated with the right side. The stomach was the most herniated organ in both trauma mechanisms. Preoperative diagnosis was mostly performed using chest radiography (55%). Postoperative diagnosis was mostly performed via laparotomy rather than laparoscopy. Associated injuries were observed in 43 patients (78%) and the mortality rate was 20% for both the sides.

Conclusion: Isolated injuries are rare, and the presence of associated injuries increases morbidity and mortality. Chest radiography in the trauma bay is useful as an initial examination, although it is not suitable for use as a definitive method. Despite the use of laparoscopy in a few cases, laparotomy is the most common approach.

Author Biographies

V F Kruger, University of Campinas

Division of Trauma Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Campinas, Brazil

T R A Calderan, University of Campinas

Division of Trauma Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Campinas, Brazil

R B de Carvalho, University of Campinas

Division of Trauma Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Campinas, Brazil

E S Hirano, University of Campinas

Division of Trauma Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Campinas, Brazil

G P Fraga, University of Campinas

Division of Trauma Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Campinas, Brazil

Published
2022-06-28
How to Cite
Kruger, V., Calderan, T., de Carvalho, R., Hirano, E., & Fraga, G. (2022). Never to be missed again – an analysis of 55 consecutive cases of traumatic diaphragmatic hernia. South African Journal of Surgery, 60(2), 91-96. Retrieved from http://sajs.redbricklibrary.com/index.php/sajs/article/view/3745
Section
Trauma