Simultaneous thoraco-laparoscopic repair of giant hiatal hernias: an alternative approach

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Summary:Laparoscopic repair of giant hiatal hernias with intrathoracic displacement of organs is recommended to relieve troublesome symptoms in patients. During this procedure, incomplete excision of the hernia sac from the mediastinum and omission of creating a ‘non-tension-free position’ of the cardio-esophageal junction into the abdominal cavity are associated with hiatal hernia recurrence. Giant hiatal hernias therefore often require a thoracotomy or thoracoscopy, to free dense adhesions higher up the chest. These procedures may increase the risk of perioperative morbidity due to lengthy operating times. We developed an operation procedure for giant hiatal hernia repair containing all the benefits of minimal invasive surgery, with overview of both thoracic and abdominal herniated structures. Three patients with a giant hiatal hernia were treated by a simultaneous thoraco-laparoscopic approach, which proved to be technically feasible and safe. Simultaneous thoraco-laparoscopic hernia repair can be considered a reasonable treatment option in selected cases such as type IV hernias, hernia recurrence or traumatic diaphragmatic herniation.

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