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Iatrogenic Incarcerated Diaphragmatic Hernia after Nissen Fundoplication

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Postoperative iatrogenic diaphragmatic hernias have been reported sparingly after several thoracic and abdominal surgeries. Although rare, a delay in diagnosis can lead to life-threatening cases of strangulation or perforation, as well as cardiovascular and respiratory insufficiency. This is a case of a 78-year-old female who developed acute obstructive symptoms secondary to herniation of the distal stomach through a defect in the central tendon of the diaphragm. The diaphragmatic defect was presumed to be iatrogenically acquired after Nissen fundoplication one year prior. Other etiologies were not as likely considering that she had never had any trauma to her chest or abdomen and had no history suggestive of a congenital nature for the diaphragmatic hernia. The hernia was successfully decompressed laparoscopically with the stomach having ischemic changes along the greater curvature, necessitating gastric wedge resection. The diaphragmatic defect, which was lengthened to reduce the edematous incarcerated stomach, was repaired primarily. The patient had an uneventful postoperative course. This case highlights the potential complication of incarcerated diaphragmatic hernia after Nissen fundoplication. Late diagnosis of iatrogenic diaphragmatic hernias is frequent because of nonspecific symptoms and surgery is indicated at the time of diagnosis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2018

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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