Foramen of Morgagni hernia: changes in diagnosis and treatment

Ann Thorac Surg. 2004 Jun;77(6):1956-9. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2003.12.028.


Background: Foramen of Morgagni hernias are uncommon diaphragmatic hernias for which there are limited reported data. The purpose of this study is to report a recent case series of foramen of Morgagni hernias in the context of new diagnostic and treatment modalities.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed over a 15-year period, from 1987 to 2001. Twelve patients who had a foramen of Morgagni hernia repaired at our hospital were identified, and data from these patients were collected.

Results: The average age at treatment was 45 years, with 50% of patients being asymptomatic. Radiographic evaluation included computed tomography scans in two thirds of the patients with a 100% sensitivity for diagnosis. All hernias were right-sided, and the most common contents of the hernias were omentum and colon. The transabdominal route was the preferred surgical approach. Thoracoscopy was used in 2 patients to further characterize a mediastinal mass. Two patients underwent laparoscopic repair. Postoperative complications were infrequent, and there were no recurrences during a 6-month to 10-year follow-up.

Conclusions: The emergence of highly accurate diagnostic computed tomography scans combined with less invasive surgical techniques utilizing laparoscopy and thoracoscopy has aided in the treatment of foramen of Morgagni hernias over the last 15 years.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / diagnosis*
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed