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Giant hiatal hernia: pleural incision helping defect closure without tension

Epublication WebSurg.com, Sep 2018;18(09). URL: http://websurg.com/doi/vd01en5382

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  • 2018-09-04
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Incidence of hiatal hernias (HH) increases with age. Approximately 60% of persons aged over 50 have a HH. Most of them are asymptomatic patients and may be discovered incidentally; others may be symptomatic and their presentation differs depending on hernia type. We present the case of a 65-year-old woman, complaining of abdominal pain and vomiting. CT-scan showed a giant hiatal sliding hernia with almost the whole stomach in an intrathoracic position. Surgery was put forward to the patient for HH correction and Nissen procedure and she accepted it. Although a uniform definition does not exist, a giant HH is considered a hernia which includes at least 30% of the stomach in the chest. Usually, a giant HH is a type III hernia with a sliding and paraesophageal component, and consequently patients may complain of pain, heartburn, dysphagia, and vomiting. Surgery ordinarily includes four steps: hernia sac dissection and resection, esophageal mobilization, crural repair, and fundoplication. To prevent tension due to a large hiatus, relaxation of the diaphragmatic crura can be associated with the use of a mesh. However, mesh use is still a matter of debate because of severe associated complications, such as erosions requiring gastric resection. In this case, we decided to deliberately make a pleural incision, in order to reduce tension preventing the use of a mesh with all of its potential complications. This procedure, already described by some authors, is not associated with respiratory complications because of the difference in abdominal and respiratory pressures observed in laparoscopic surgery. The patient progressed favorably and was discharged asymptomatically on postoperative day 2.