Veazie Veterinary Clinic
1522 State Street, Veazie, ME
(207) 941-8840

Diaphragmatic Hernia Repair

The diaphragm is the muscle that separates the chest (thorax) and abdomen. When the diaphragm is disrupted it allows abdominal organs to migrate into the chest cavity. Most dogs and cats who have this have experienced some sort of trauma or stress like being hit by a car.

 

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As you can see in this normal chest radiograph the diaphragm creates a clear separation between the lungs (darker mottled area) and the abdomen (the whiter portion to the right of the film).

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In this abnormal radiograph of a cat with a diaphragmatic hernia you can see the area of the lungs to the left of the picture are blocked with a white hue. This white hue is abdominal organs that have moved into the chest cavity.

How do you repair it?

Surgery needs to be performed as soon as the patient is stable. The diaphragmatic hernia is usually repaired through the abdomen resituating organs where they belong and suturing the diaphragm in the correct position. A chest tube will also be placed to remove air and any fluid that may accumulate. Once the chest tube is removed the pet can go home. It is important they stay quiet and avoid activity during the post-operative period.

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