Incarcerated obturator hernia

Case contributed by Dr Michael P Hartung


Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting.

Patient Data

Age: 75 years
Gender: Female

Oral contrast in stomach and nondilated proximal small bowel, with slow transition to dilated, fluid-filled, unopacified distal small bowel. The obstruction is due to a right obturator hernia.

Mesenteric edema and small ascites. Decompressed distal-most small bowel and colon.


Incarcerated right obturator hernia.


Laparoscopic reduction of incarcerated right obturator hernia and high ligation of obturator hernia sac. Small bowel was viable.

Case Discussion

Obturator hernias occur through the obturator canal, which contains the neurovascular bundle and is about 2-3 cm long. It is more common in elderly females (as in this case) likely due to increased pelvic laxity, and can result in small bowel incarceration and need for urgent surgical attention.

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Case information

rID: 68234
Published: 24th May 2019
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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