Hernia, vol.8, no.4, pp.393-396, 2004 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
Traumatic diaphragmatic injuries commonly occur following blunt and penetrating trauma, and that may be missed during a first evaluation, resulting in chronic diaphragmatic hernia and/or strangulation. In this study, we present three cases of delayed traumatic diaphragmatic hernias presenting with strangulation. The type of trauma was blunt in two and penetrating in one patient. In all three cases, the diagnoses of diaphragmatic injuries were missed in acute and chronic settings. While two patients had transverse colonic strangulation, the other one had strangulated stomach and spleen. Transverse colon resection was performed in one patient. Two patients had postoperative complications, and no postoperative mortality was detected. Patients complaining of upper abdominal pain and dyspnea with past history of thoracoabdominal trauma should be evaluated for a missed diaphragmatic injury. A high index of suspicion, physical examination of the chest, and x-ray film are helpful for diagnosis of delayed traumatic diaphragmatic hernias presenting with strangulation.