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Perforated peptic duodenal ulcer in a paraesophageal hernia – a case report of a rare surgical emergency

Mikael Ekelund1*, Else Ribbe1, Julian Willner2 and Thomas Zilling1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, Lund University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden

2 Department of Imaging and Clinical Physiology, Lund University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden

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BMC Surgery 2006, 6:1  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-6-1

Published: 26 January 2006



Paraesophageal hernias are quite common and sometimes feared due to the risk of incarceration and strangulation of any herniated organ. The hereby reported combination of an incarcerated paraesophageal hernia containing a perforated peptic ulcer is extremely rare.

Case presentation

An elderly man with multiple medical conditions was admitted due to severe upper abdominal pain. The patient was found to have a paraesophageal hernia and underwent a laparotomy. In the hernia, a perforated benign peptic duodenal ulcer was found. The duodenal defect was over-sewn, the hernial defect was closed and the former hernial cavity was drained by a right-sided chest tube. The patient was discharged one month after surgery and was found to do well at follow-up one month after discharge.


This is the first report of a patient surviving the extremely rare and life-threatening combination of a perforated peptic duodenal ulcer in a paraesophageal hernia.