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Papers of the Week

2021 May 01

J Minim Access Surg

Pneumothorax as a rare complication during laparoscopic total extra-peritoneal inguinal hernia repair: A case report and review of the literature.


Koliakos N, Papaconstantinou D, Tzortzis A-S, Schizas D, Bistarakis D, Bakopoulos A
J Minim Access Surg. 2021 May 01.
PMID: 34045398.


Totally extra-peritoneal (TEP) and trans-abdominal pre-peritoneal repair are the two most commonly performed types of laparoscopic hernia repair procedures. Herein, we present a rare case of pneumothorax and pneumomediastinum that ensued during a TEP inguinal hernia repair. A 73-year-old man presented for elective laparoscopic right-sided hernia repair. After intubation, a 10-mm and two 5-mm trocars were placed in the peri-umbilical and midline area, respectively. A balloon dissector was inserted from the 10-mm trocar to develop the retro-rectus space and carbon dioxide was insufflated up to a pressure of 14 mmHg. About 55 min after insufflation, the patient presented subcutaneous emphysema, oxygen saturation dropped from 100% to 96% and pCO increased to 55 mmHg. Due to concerns for pulmonary embolism, he immediately underwent a chest computed tomography, which revealed pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema extended throughout the neck, thorax and upper abdomen. The patient was successfully treated conservatively with oral analgesia and supplemental oxygen and was discharged on the 4 post-operative day without any further complications.