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Strangulated intercostal liver herniation subsequent to blunt trauma. First report with review of the world literature

Cino Bendinelli1*, Andrew Martin1, Shane D Nebauer2 and Zsolt J Balogh2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Traumatology, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

2 University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

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World Journal of Emergency Surgery 2012, 7:23  doi:10.1186/1749-7922-7-23

Published: 16 July 2012


Traumatic transdiaphragmatic intercostal hernia, defined as an acquired herniation of abdominal contents through disrupted intercostal muscles, is a rarely reported entity. We present the first reported case of a traumatic transdiaphragmatic intercostal hernia complicated by strangulation of the herniated visceral contents.

Following blunt trauma, a 61-year old man developed a traumatic transdiaphragmatic intercostal hernia complicated by strangulation of liver segment VI. Due to pre-existing respiratory problems and the presence of multiple other injuries (grade III kidney laceration and lung contusion) the hernia was managed non-operatively for the first 2 weeks.

The strangulated liver segment eventually underwent ischemic necrosis. Six weeks later the resulting subcutaneous abscess required surgical drainage. Nine months post injury the large symptomatic intercostal hernia was treated with laparoscopic mesh repair. Twelve months after the initial trauma, a small recurrence of the hernia required laparoscopic re-fixation of the mesh.

This paper outlines important steps in managing a rare post traumatic entity. Early liver reduction and hernia repair would have been ideal. The adopted conservative approach caused liver necrosis and required staged procedures to achieve a good outcome.

Strangulated; Intercostal hernia; Liver herniation; Blunt trauma; Laparoscopic mesh repair