Bochdalek hernia and repetitive pancreatitis in a 33 year old woman

Int J Surg Case Rep. 2014;5(10):743-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2014.08.017. Epub 2014 Aug 23.


Introduction: Bochdalek hernia presentation in adulthood is rare. The presentation in newborns is the most common, manifesting with data from respiratory failure secondary to pulmonary hypoplasia, requiring urgent surgical intervention with high morbidity and mortality.

Presentation of case: We present the case of a 33 year old woman admitted in the emergency room with severe abdominal pain in the left upper quadrant and disnea. After physical examination and laboratory test we diagnose mild acute pancreatitis. The patient haven't colelitiasis by ulstrasound or any risk factor for pancreatitis. Initially she received medical treatment and was discharged after one week. After four weeks she presented the same symptoms in two different occasions, with severe and mild pancreatitis respectively. A computed tomography report a left posterolateral diafragmatic hernia. In spite of the rare association of pancreatitis and Bochdalek hernia, we realized it as the etiology until the second event and planned his surgery. We made a posterolateral torachotomy and diafragmatic plasty with a politetrafluoroetileno mesh and after a 6 months follow up she has coursed asymptomatic.

Discussion: The high rate of complications in this type of hernia requires us to perform surgical treatment as the hernia is detected. In this case it is prudent medical treatment prior to surgical correction despite this being the origin of the pancreatitis, because the systemic inflammatory response added by the surgical act could result in a higher rate of complications if not performed at the appropriate time. There is no precise rule to determine the type of approach of choice in this type of hernia which thoracotomy or laparotomy may be used.

Conclusion: Bochdalek hernia is a rare find in adults who require treatment immediately after diagnosis because of the high risk of complications. When presented with data from pancreatitis is recommended to complete the medical treatment of pancreatitis before surgery to obtain the best results, unless it exist another abdominal complication.

Keywords: Anatomy; Biomaterials; Diaphragm; Hernias; Incisions.