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Case Rep Gastroenterol. 2010 Feb 3;4(1):12-18.

A Strange Case of Left Bowel Ischemia after Right Hernioplasty.

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Section of General and Thoracic Surgery, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.


We report the first observed case of a young man who suffered of large and unsuspected left bowel ischemia following an elective right open hernioplasty. A 54-year-old man had a 2-year history of right inguinal reducible mass and was admitted to hospital for an elective day case open inguinal hernioplasty for a direct right inguinal hernia. Apart from mild hypertension controlled with ACE inhibitor, he was medically fit and well. The patient was submitted to open tension-free mesh repair with polypropylene preshaped mesh with local infiltration anesthesia and additive sedation with midazolam. The local anesthesia and surgery were uneventful and he was discharged home on the same day as per day case protocol. He was readmitted about 12 h after discharge with a history of central and left lower abdominal pain with palpable mass, and distension and fever (38°C). After imaging and laboratory studies the patient was submitted to explorative surgery with the suspicion of left colonic ischemia. After intraoperative confirmation we performed standard left hemicolectomy. The postoperative course was uneventful; the patient was discharged in good general condition on the 7th postoperative day. Actually, the patient is in follow-up, with normal coagulation and hemochromocytometric pattern, asymptomatic for hypercholesterolemia and atrial flutter/fibrillation. Complications relating to bowel during open techniques of hernia repair are limited to two situations: the freeing of an incarcerated or strangulated segment of bowel and inadvertent laceration of large bowel in the presence of a sliding hernia. Following this strange case of colonic ischemia, a boolean Medline search (terms: hernia, complication, repair, groin, herniorrhaphy, hernioplasty, all major MESH subjects without language restriction) revealed no previous similar cases reported. However, to our knowledge, there is another trouble hypothesis: not causality but casualty. In conclusion, to our knowledge this is the first reported case of large left bowel ischemia following right open hernioplasty. We can conclude that the presence of a dolichocolon is an added risk factor for this rare and uneventful complication, but further investigations and case reports are necessary to estabilish the real causality.

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