ABSTRACT: A successful placement of a transabdominal pericardial window is associated with diaphragmatic hernia. In this paper, we present the case of a 5-month-old ex-31-weeks-premature baby who developed a symptomatic diaphragmatic hernia following a chronic pericardial effusion who was treated successfully with a laparoscopic transabdominal pericardial window. Laparoscopy and a pericardial window were used to manage the symptomatic effusion that developed following a bilateral thoracotomy and median sternotomy for the patient's massive hygroma. The patient was followed before and after pericardial drainage with a serial examination, chest radiography, and echocardiography. In addition, computerized tomography was also used for long-term follow-up following the repair of the hernia. An acellular dermal matrix was utilized for patching the hernia with a laparotomy. The abdominal approach in both operations offered direct access to the pericardial space and hernia, thereby avoiding previously operated thoraces. A subsequent follow-up at 9 months following the creation of the window suggested a recurrent tamponade physiology. Plain radiographs and an echocardiogram showed herniation into the pericardial sac. The hernia was operatively reduced and repaired with an acellular dermal matrix. Recovery and subsequent followup at 1 year revealed no hernia, full symptom resolution, and no recurrence of the pericardial effusion. A pericardial window is an effective approach for the management of chronic pericardial effusion. Diaphragmatic herniation through a pericardial window can be successfully repaired with an acellular dermal matrix.
Journal of Laparoendoscopic & Advanced Surgical Techniques 07/2007; 17(3):383-6. · 1.40 Impact Factor