Laparoscopic repair of penetrating injury of the diaphragm: an experience from a district hospital

Original article


Ali Yahya 1, Hussein Shuweiref 1, Ahmed Thoboot 1, Mustafa Ekheil 1, Abdulmajid A Ali 2

1-Department of Surgery, Zliten Central Hospital, Zliten-Libya, and 2-Department of Laproscopic Surgery, AyrShire & Arran HospitalĀ“s NHS Trust-Scotland

Libyan J Med AOP:080322


In this study we review our experience in using laparoscopy as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool in dealing with penetrating diaphragmatic injuries due to stab wounds and look at the feasibility of using this procedure in other similar institutions.
Thirty patients, all of whom were males 20-30 years of age, presented to the surgical emergency unit of our hospital with upper abdominal and lower chest wall stab wounds between 01-05-1998 and 30-11-2006. Diagnosis of the diaphragm injury was either obvious with omentum herniating through the chest wall, or occult with confirmation of the injury at laparoscopy.
All patients underwent diagnostic laparoscopy, which resulted in identification and efficient treatment of eight patients with diaphragmatic injury, and thereby laparotomy was avoided. The procedure converted to open surgery in one patient because of a small left-sided colonic tear.
Laparoscopy is an efficient tool for the diagnosis and management of diaphragmatic injuries. It should be used routinely instead of exploratory laparotomy in haemodynamically stable patients with penetrating lower chest injuries.

Keywords: Diaphragmatic injury; Trauma; Laparoscopic surgery