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N Am J Med Sci. 2016 Jun;8(6):252-5. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.185036.

Acute Bowel Obstruction in a Giant Recurrent Right Bochdalek's Hernia: A Report of Complication on Both Sides of the Diaphragm.

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Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.



Diagnosis of congenital Bochdalek's hernia (BH) in adulthood is extremely rare and requires a fastidious surgical repair, the failure of which might result in a recurrence with severe complications. We report a rare case of a giant, right BH that recurred after surgical repair and was complicated with complete bowel obstruction.


A 51-year-old Saudi male, with past surgical history of laparotomy that failed to repair BH, presented to the emergency room with severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and hypovolemic shock. Computerized tomography (CT) showed an unusual picture of closed-loop bowel obstruction above and below the diaphragm. We carried out laparotomy and thoracotomy that achieved lysis of adhesions, reduction of bowel, and repair of diaphragmatic defect.


Acute presentation of complicated BH poses a formidable challenge because of its rarity and complexity. The preferred approach for elective repair of adult BH is debatable, where surgeons-guided by hernia type and biased by their experience-recommend either laparotomy or thoracotomy. Nevertheless, a complicated, giant, recurrent BH typically requires both laparotomy and thoracotomy.


Bowel obstruction; congenital Bochdalek hernia; laparotomy; recurrent; thoracotomy

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