Physiology in Medicine: physiological basis of diaphragmatic dysfunction with abdominal hernias-implications for therapy

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015 Jan 15;118(2):142-7. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00276.2014. Epub 2014 Nov 6.


An incisional hernia is a common complication after abdominal surgery. Complaints of dyspnea in this population may be attributed to cardiopulmonary dysfunction or deconditioning. Large abdominal incisional hernias, however, may cause diaphragm dysfunction and result in dyspnea, which is more pronounced when standing (platypnea). The use of an abdominal binder may alleviate platypnea in this population. We discuss the link between diaphragm dysfunction and the lack of abdominal wall integrity and how abdominal wall support partially restores diaphragm function.

Keywords: abdominal hernia; diaphragm dysfunction; platypnea; ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Wall / physiopathology*
  • Diaphragm / physiopathology*
  • Dyspnea / etiology*
  • Dyspnea / therapy
  • Hernia, Abdominal / complications
  • Hernia, Abdominal / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Incisional Hernia / complications
  • Incisional Hernia / physiopathology*
  • Orthotic Devices
  • Respiration