Research: Development of Diaphragmatic Hernia in Patients with Penetrating Left Thoracoabdominal Stab Wounds

World J Surg

. 2022 Aug;46(8):1872-1877.

 doi: 10.1007/s00268-022-06558-1. Epub 2022 Apr 16.

Development of Diaphragmatic Hernia in Patients with Penetrating Left Thoracoabdominal Stab Wounds

Metin Yucel 1Fatma Kulali 2Abdullah Yildiz 3

Affiliations expand


Background: This study aimed to investigate the consequences of repairing versus not repairing diaphragmatic injury caused by penetrating left thoracoabdominal stab wounds.

Methods: Diagnostic laparoscopy was performed to evaluate the left diaphragm in patients with penetrating left thoracoabdominal stab wounds who did not have an indication for emergency laparotomy. Patients who did not consent to laparoscopy were discharged without undergoing surgery. Post-discharge radiological images of patients who underwent diaphragmatic repair and radiological images of patients who could not undergo laparoscopy, both during hospitalization and after discharge, were evaluated and compared.

Results: Diagnostic laparoscopy was performed on 109 patients. Diaphragmatic injuries were detected and repaired in 32 (29.36%) of these patients. Seventeen patients were lost to follow-up. After a mean follow-up of 57.67 months, none of the remaining 15 patients developed a diaphragmatic hernia. On the other hand, 43 patients refused to undergo diagnostic laparoscopy. Twenty of them were lost from follow-up. The diaphragmatic injury was detected in seven of the remaining 23 patients (30.44%) during initial computed tomography (CT) examinations. In this group, the mean follow-up time was 42.57 months, and delayed diaphragmatic hernia developed in one patient (14.30%). Patients who underwent diaphragmatic repair were compared to patients who did not undergo diagnostic laparoscopy but had diaphragmatic injuries detected on their CT. No statistical differences were detected.

Conclusions: Diaphragmatic injuries caused by penetrating stab wounds can sometimes heal spontaneously. However, diagnostic laparoscopy is still relevant for revealing and repairing possible diaphragmatic injuries.

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