Internal herniation through the falciform ligament of the liver: a case report

Background: An internal abdominal hernia is defined as the protrusion of a viscus through a mesenteric or peritoneal aperture within the peritoneal cavity. A less common type of internal herniation is a small bowel herniation through a defect in the falciform ligament of the liver. This defect can be congenital or iatrogenic after penetration of the falciform ligament with a trocar during laparoscopic surgery.

Methods: We present a case report illustrating an internal herniation through an iatrogenic defect in the falciform ligament of the liver.

Results: A 78-year-old man comes to the emergency department with severe abdominal pain for several hours. Laparoscopic exploration shows a small bowel herniation through an iatrogenic defect of the falciform ligament after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Reduction of the internal herniation is performed. Due to subsequently small bowel necrosis, a small bowel resection with primary anastomosis has to be performed too.

Conclusion: Small bowel herniation through an iatrogenic defect in the falciform ligament is very rare. However, it can lead to severe complications such as small bowel necrosis. To prevent internal herniation, we strongly suggest immediate repair or division of the falciform ligament when an iatrogenic defect is created during laparoscopic procedures.