Can be serious. It depends on the extent of lung damage.
Mostly not serious. The majority of diaphgramatic hernias are referred to as paraesophageal hernias, and the majority of these are small. Many individuals actually have small "hiatal" hernias and are asymptomatic from them. If the hernia, however, is large and symptomatic, then it can be serious causing obstruction or even necrosis of the organs herniated through the defect. This is less common though.
Hole in Diaphragm. The diaphragm is a thin muscle that separates the chest- from the abdominal cavity; a diaphragmatic hernia is a hole in this muscle. By far, the most common type is a hiatal hernia, which is an enlargement of the normal hole in the diaphragm thru which the esophagus passes to enter into the abdomen. The stomach may then slide up thru this hole, which can cause acid reflux.
Bowel in chest. Bowel pokes through defect in diaphragm and gets into chest cavity. Congenital causes poor development of the affected lung, causing a newborn to need a ventilator or ecmo. Adults can get with abdomen trauma, like stab wounds that cut the diaphragm. Less dangerous because lung is normal and should re-expand when fixed. Similar is hiatal hernia, where stomach slides through opening for esophagus.
WebMD. See webmd for a thorough discussion. Not enough room here.
Lack of development. Poor or incomplete development of the pluroperitoneal membrane which forms the diaphragm muscle.
Birth defect. It is a failure of the tissue that will form the diaphragm musle to fuse in the midline and separate the abdominal compartment from the chest compartment.
Hole in diaphragm. Most commonly, a diaphragmatic hernia occurs as a congenital anomaly in a baby. A diaphragmatic hernia can also occur as a result of trauma, either penetrating with the diaphragm pierced, or blunt with the diaphragm popped/burst. In all cases, a diaphragmatic hernia requires surgery.
Hole in diaphragm. A baby with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (cdh) is born with a hole in one side of the diaphragm. On the left side, the stomach, intestines, and spleen may be up in the chest. On the right, the liver and intestines may be up in the chest. Cdh can cause severe breathing problems in newborns from compression of the lungs by the herniated organs and inadequate development of the lungs themselves.
Hernia of diaphragm. A congenital diaphragmatic hernia is an opening in the diaphragm muscle that allows the abdominal organs to creep into the chest and affect the formation of fetal lungs. Growth of lungs is affected and this may gravely affect prognosis.
See your doctor. Your doctor can see you and review your symptoms such as heartburn, esophagitis, food reflux into the throat, feeling of food sticking when swallowing. Your doctor can determine if you need testing such as a simple chest x-ray. Sometimes a ct scan is used. Sometimes a referral to a gastroenterology specialist is considered for an endoscopy procedure.
Chest X-ray. When large a chest x-ray can see but a ct is best.
Breathing issues. The most immediate issue with diaphragmatic hernia (cdh) are issues with breathing. Infants will need ventilator support. They will need close monitoring in a level 3 nicu. Some have pulmonary hypoplasia (undredeveloped lungs). Pulmonary hypertension needs to be monitored carefully to allow safe surgical repair when hypertension has resolved.
Lung hypoplasia. Congenital diaphragmatic hernia is a rare but devastating anomaly that affects mainly the fetal lung growth and development to the point that perinatal survival is jeopardized unless prompt and expert care is instituted. Even then, the prognosis depends more on the severity of the diaphragmatic defect than on the quality of care. Several lethal syndromes are associated with it so seek multi-d care.
Short of breath. It depends on the size and location. It can be anywhere from none to sensation of fullness or shortness of breath after eating, to reflux or heartburn and chest pain.
Respiratory failure. Infant will be unable to breathe for themselves. They will require intubation and a ventilator. They will have pulmonary hypertension which affects ability to oxygenate blood. This symptom is transient and resolves with good medical support in a level three intensive care nursery. Once circulation is normalized surgery can be done to close the hernia through abdominal incision.
None to death. Congenital diaphragmatic hernia when isolated and mild can be asymptomatic and go undiagnosed for years/decades. When syndromic/severe it is always/frequently perinatally lethal. Most of the time, it causes varying degrees of fetal pulmonary hypoplasia and consequent neonatal respiratory distress requiring expert care. Go to tch pavilion for women in houston, tx and see dr. Ruano for consultation!
Seek medical. .. Attention in a good pediatric health care facility. A diaphragmatic hernia (hole in diaphragm) is a serious deal in a baby. He needs to be cared for in a hospital with a high-level neonatal intensive care unit (nicu) and pediatric surgeons, pediatric anesthesiologists, and neonatologists.
Early. Shortly after birth depending on the infants respiratory and cardiac function.
Depends. Some are repaired in utero, some are repaired after the age of 80. In general, for adults, it is based on size and symptoms. More symptoms and larger size, consider a consultation with a general or thoracic surgeon with experience in performing laparoscopic diaphragmatic hernia repairs.