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Case Reports in Surgery
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4159108, 4 pages
Case Report

Laparoscopic Repair of Diaphragmatic Rupture: A Case Report with Radiological and Surgical Correlation

1Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC 20059, USA
2Department of Radiology, Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC 20060, USA
3Department of Surgery, Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC 20060, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Patrick Nguyen

Received 23 April 2017; Accepted 16 July 2017; Published 20 August 2017

Academic Editor: Robert Stein

Copyright © 2017 Patrick Nguyen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The leading cause of diaphragmatic rupture is penetrating abdominal trauma, including gunshot- and stab-related wounds; however, diaphragmatic rupture can also result from blunt trauma to the abdomen. The diagnosis can be difficult to make as the physical examination may be unremarkable, and imaging, that is, a conventional chest X-ray and/or CT imaging, may initially fail to reveal the injury. Failure to recognize diaphragmatic rupture can result in a delayed presentation, sometimes years later, with a potential catastrophic outcome. Therefore, prompt and swift diagnosis is critical to avoid this potential harmful scenario. Traditionally, repair is performed through a laparotomy or a thoracotomy incision. Owing to the many advances made in minimally invasive surgery, not only has laparoscopy become the modality of choice to diagnose diaphragmatic rupture due to its high degree of sensitivity and specificity, but it can provide simultaneous therapeutic intervention as well. We report a case of laparoscopic repair of a diaphragmatic rupture in a 22-year-old female who sustained blunt abdominal trauma during a motor vehicle accident.