What is a diaphragmatic hernia?
The diaphragm is a broad muscle that separates the abdominal and chest cavities. It’s a major muscle involved with breathing. The diaphragm forms in babies at eight weeks of gestation. During development, two membranes merge to close the open area between the chest and the abdomen. When this membrane does not close completely, a diaphragmatic hernia occurs, leaving a hole in the muscle of the diaphragm through which abdominal organs, such as the stomach and bowels, protrude into the chest.