A diaphragmatic hernia is an emergency that requires surgery. Surgery is done to place the abdominal organs into the proper position and repair the opening in the diaphragm.
See: Diaphragmatic hernia repair – congenital
The infant will need breathing support until he or she recovers from surgery. Some infants are placed on a heart/lung bypass machine, which gives the lungs a chance to recover and expand after surgery.
If a diaphragmatic hernia is diagnosed during pregnancy (around 24 to 28 weeks), fetal surgery may be considered.
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia is a very serious disorder. The outcome of surgery depends on how well your baby’s lungs have developed. Usually the outlook is very good for infants who have enough lung tissue.
With advances in neonatal and surgical care, survival is now greater than 80%.
- Lung infections
- Other congenital problems
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911). A diaphragmatic hernia is a surgical emergency.
Review Date : 5/27/2009
Reviewed By : Benjamin W. Van Voorhees, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Psychiatry, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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