Diaphragmatic Hernia In Adults: Symptoms And Treatment Options

When there is a hole in the diaphragm or when certain spot in diaphragm becomes weak, abdominal contents make its way into the chest cavity. This condition is medically known as diaphragmatic hernia. Diaphragm is the muscle which helps us to breath.

Types Of Diaphragmatic Hernia

Diaphragmatic hernia can be of different types, they are:

  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
  • Hiatus hernia.
  • Traumatic diaphragmatic hernia.

Diaphragmatic hernias in adults are hiatus hernia and traumatic diaphragmatic hernia.

Hiatal Diaphragmatic Hernia

Hiatus hernia in adults: it occurs when the stomach portion along with lower esophagus moves above the diaphragm.

Pain in the chest, burning pain below the breast bone is observed while lying down; this is caused due to acid reflux.

It is more commonly observed in obese persons and in females.

Reducing weight, avoiding smoking, lifting heavy weight, constipation and stress will help to decrease the symptoms caused due to hiatus hernia. Surgery is the last alternative.

Traumatic Diaphragmatic Hernia

Traumatic diaphragmatic hernia in adults: occurs due to abdominal injury and abdominal surgery for e.g. pelvic fracture and spleen surgery.

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia is a serious condition in fetus, where there is abnormal opening in the diaphragm which allows the abdominal contents such as spleen, liver, stomach intestine to move in the chest cavity. It is a fetal birth defect during the fetal development in the womb.

Symptoms of difficulty in breathing, cyanosis or blue discoloration of lips and skin with fast pulse are present in the infant having diaphragmatic hernia.

Treatment is emergency surgical intervention as soon as the condition is detected.

Prognosis is good with modern surgical procedure and equipments available. Survival rate of infants is around 80%.

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