NATIONAL (NBC) - When your baby is born, you think all you'll have to worry about are some sleepless nights. But hernias can cause problems in the smallest patients.
Dr. Kathleen Graziano says, "Nicholas had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, so that is a hole in the muscle that's called the diaphragm and the diaphragm is a muscle that divides your chest from your belly."
When Brenda Moya and Ray Lopez learned their son Nicholas had a diaphragmatic hernia, they didn't know what to expect. Lopez says, "I was pretty concerned. I mean I'm not a medical person, you know. I think Dr. Graziano did a good job of kind of explaining the condition."
Dr. Graziano explains, "The problem with having a hole in your diaphragm is not that the hole is there, but that things that should be in your belly, like your intestines, your liver, your spleen can get up into the chest and then they squish the lung and they have, it's a problem with lung development."
Dr. Graziano is one of a growing number of pediatric surgeons trained to offer a minimally invasive repair of the hernia. "Putting a scope inside the chest and then we push all the intestines back into the belly, and we repair that hole on the inside using small instruments."
Nicholas came out of the surgery with flying colors, but that's not always the case with these small patients. Moya is grateful that "he was such a good weight. So that helped him during the surgery."
Lopez says, "He eats a lot, sleeps a lot, and so we're pleased with that."
And these parents hope others will benefit from their experience.
These types of hernias happen in one out of every 2,500 babies.
Posted by Chantelle Janelle