A rare case of an intercostal lung herniation with fractures of the fifth and sixth ribs after thoracic surgery

Akira Haro, Kazune Komiya, Yoshihiro Taguchi, Haruka Nishikawa, Takuyuki Kouda, Takatoshi Fujishita, Hideki Yokoyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Lung herniation is a rare condition defined as a protrusion of the pleural-covered lung parenchyma through an abnormal defect or weakness in the thoracic wall. Postoperative lung herniation is reported to result from a preceding operation with inadequate closure of the chest wall. Presentation of case A 77-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital for treatment of hemoptysis and nausea. One year previously, she had undergone wedge resection of the right lower lobe (S6) for treatment of primary lung adenocarcinoma. Upon admission, chest radiograph and chest computed tomography showed a right lung herniation through the fifth enlarged intercostal space with right fifth and sixth rib fractures. She underwent surgical closure of the intercostal hernia using synthetic materials with fixation of the fifth and sixth ribs. The patient had developed no recurrence 9 months after surgical repair. Discussion In the present case, adequate closure of the right pleural cavity was ensured by fixation of both fifth and sixth ribs during the preceding video-assisted thoracic surgery for the primary lung carcinoma. Our patient may have had some exacerbation factors for lung herniation, increased intrathoracic pressure, attenuation of chest wall by prolonged coughing and rib fracture, and high abdominal pressure due to her hunched-over posture. Concludion It is important to know some exacerbation factors for postoperative intercostal lung herniation. Addition of monofirament-suture fixation of the ribs to patch repair is very effective for lung herniation repair in patients with concurrent lung herniation and rib fractures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-476
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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