Review: Complicated Diaphragmatic Hernia in Emergency Surgery: Systematic Review of the Literature

Review World J Surg

. 2020 Aug 11. doi: 10.1007/s00268-020-05733-6. Online ahead of print.

Complicated Diaphragmatic Hernia in Emergency Surgery: Systematic Review of the Literature

Gennaro Perrone 1Mario Giuffrida 2Alfredo Annicchiarico 3Elena Bonati 3Paolo Del Rio 3Mario Testini 4Fausto Catena 1Affiliations expand


Introduction: Complicated diaphragmatic hernia (DH) can be congenital or acquired. Congenital diaphragmatic hernias (CDH) are rare and often can be asymptomatic until adulthood. Traumatic diaphragmatic hernia (TDH) is a complication that occurs in about 1-5% of victims of road accidents and in 10-15% of penetrating traumas of the lower chest. CDH and TDH are potentially life-threatening conditions, and the management in emergency setting still debated. This study aims to evaluate the surgical treatment options in emergency setting.

Methods: A bibliographic research reporting the item “emergency surgery” linked with “traumatic diaphragmatic rupture” and “congenital diaphragmatic hernia” was performed. Several parameters were recorded including sex, age, etiology, diagnosis, treatment, site and herniated organs.

Results: The research included 146 articles, and 1542 patients were analyzed. Most of the complicated diaphragmatic hernias occurred for a diaphragmatic defect due to trauma, only 7.2% occurred for a congenital diaphragmatic defect. The main diagnostic method used was chest X-ray and CT scan. Laparotomic approach still remains predominant compared to the minimally invasive approach.

Conclusion: Surgery is the treatment of choice and is strongly influenced by the preoperative setting, performed mainly with X-ray and CT scan. Minimally invasive approach is safe and feasible but is highly dependent on the surgeon’s expertise, especially in emergency setting.

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