Open versus laparoscopic repair of traumatic diaphragmatic injury: A nationwide propensity-matched analysis

Omar Obaid, Ahmad Hammad, Letitia Bible, Michael Ditillo, Lourdes Castanon, Molly Douglas, Tanya Anand, Adam Nelson, Bellal Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Minimally invasive surgical techniques have become routinely applied in the evaluation and treatment of patients with isolated traumatic diaphragmatic injuries (TDI). However, there remains a paucity of data that compares the laparoscopic repair to the open repair approach. The aim of our study is to examine patient outcomes between TDI patients managed laparoscopically versus those managed using open repair. Methods: Adult (age ≥18 years) trauma patients presenting with TDI that required surgical repair were identified in the Trauma Quality Improvement Program database 2017. Patients were excluded if they underwent any other surgical procedure of the abdomen or chest. Patients were then stratified into 2 groups based on the surgical approach: laparoscopic repair of the diaphragm versus open repair. Propensity-score matching in a 1:2 ratio was performed. Primary outcome measures were in-hospital major complications and length of stay (LOS). Secondary outcome measure was in-hospital mortality. Results: A total of 177 adult trauma patients who had a laparoscopic repair of their isolated diaphragmatic injury were matched to 354 patients who had an open repair. Mean age was 35 ± 16 years, 78% were male, and mean BMI was 27 ± 7 kg/m2. 67 percent of the patients had penetrating injuries, and the median ISS was 17 [9-21]. CT imaging was done in 67% of the patients, with 71% presenting with left-sided injury and 21% having visceral herniation. Conversion from laparoscopic to open was reported in 7.3% of the cases. Patients with a laparoscopic repair had significantly lower rates of major complications (5.6 versus 14.4%; P<0.001), shorter hospital LOS (6 [3-9] versus 9 [5-13] days; P<0.001) and ICU LOS (3 [2-7] versus 5 [2-10] days; P<0.001). No difference was found in rates of in-hospital mortality (0.6 versuss 2.0%; P = 0.129) between the 2 groups. Conclusion: Laparoscopic repair of traumatic diaphragmatic injury was associated with decreased morbidity and a shorter hospital course, with a low conversion rate to open repair. Future studies remain necessary to further explore the long-term outcomes of patients with such injury. Level of Evidence: Level III Study Type: Therapeutic

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-458
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Diaphragmatic injury
  • Open versus laparoscopic repair
  • Trauma
  • Trauma quality pmprovement program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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