Congential Diaphragmatic Hernia

A weak spot or hole in the diaphragm allowing the protrusion of certain abdominal organs into the thoracic cavity results in the condition referred to as congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

In 90% cases of diaphragmatic hernia, it is found to be present on the left side of the body.  Abdominal organs such as stomach and intestine may be protruding into the thoracic or chest cavity. Spleen and liver also may be herniated. The lung on the side of the hernia may not be fully developed when the hernia is quite large. Certain heart defects are found to occur in infants who have congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

At the time of birth, as the newborn takes in the first breath and cries, the gastrointestinal tract rapidly enlarges getting filled with air. The herniated digestive organ too becomes large and presses against the vital organs in the chest such as the heart and the lungs. This causes considerable breathing difficulty in the newborn, usually immediately after birth. Diaphragmatic hernia can be detected by an x-ray. Pre-natal ultrasound screening can detect this defect in the fetus. Surgical intervention is necessary to repair the weak spot or hole in the diaphragm. When it is detected before birth, surgery is planned in advance. Supplementary oxygen is given to the infant through a breathing tube, or respiratory assistance is provided by a ventilator, if necessary, to relieve breathing difficulty.

Watch The Video About Congential Diaphragmatic Hernia

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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