IPDH, the rarest of all non-hiatal diaphragmatic hernias, is a sacless hernia [2, 3]. IPDH is a communication between the peritoneal cavity and pericardium, and a gap in the pericardial portion of the central tendon of the diaphragm is frequent route . IPDH can have a traumatic, congenital, or iatrogenic etiology. Among these three etiologies, an iatrogenic cause is extremely rare . Iatrogenic IPDHs have reportedly occurred after coronary artery bypass grafting using a right gastroepiploic artery graft  and subxiphoid epicardial pacemaker insertion through a pericardial-peritoneal window .
Although some cases of diaphragmatic hernia after esophagectomy have been reported, the hernia orifice in these cases was located at the hiatus only . No reports have described the hernia orifice at the pericardium, as in the present case. Therefore, this is the first reported case of iatrogenic IPDH after esophagectomy. The retrosternal or mediastinal route is usually chosen for the alimentary reconstruction after esophagectomy. IPDH has not been reported as a complication after esophagectomy because surgeons rarely choose to perform the reconstruction by the antethoracic route. Surgeons must consider the various types of diaphragmatic hernias that may occur according to the reconstruction route after esophagectomy.
A possible mechanism of jejunal limb herniation into the pericardium in the present case is the opening of the pericardium during the esophagectomy with antethoracic alimentary reconstruction. Because the xiphoid and pericardium are anatomically adjacent, the pericardium was opened during xiphoidectomy. IPDH occurred by jejunal peristalsis and pressure overload. It is important to prevent the pericardium from opening during xiphoidectomy. When the pericardium is opened, surgeons should tightly close it.
We have herein reported a new treatment option to prevent recurrent intrapericardial herniation using a graft harvested from the rectus abdominis posterior sheath. Both primary suture plication to close the defect and reinforcement of the suture closure are crucial for effective hernia treatment. The details of the surgical treatment for IPDH are not yet established. Kovacich et al.  reported that the principles of the operation are reduction of the herniated organs, definition of the edges of the diaphragmatic hernia, and closure of the defect. Several reports have described reinforcement of the diaphragmatic incision with prosthetic mesh [9, 10]. The true rate of mesh-related complications associated with reinforcement of the hernia orifice is still unknown. We were concerned about complications related to mesh attachment to the pedicled jejunum. To prevent recurrence, we closed the diaphragmatic defect and reinforced it with a graft from the rectus abdominis posterior sheath. Two case reports have described repair of IPDH with an autologous graft . The falciform ligament or left triangular ligament was used as the autologous graft. These case reports noted that the surgical procedure was simple, easy, and safe. Because both ligaments were separated during the esophagectomy, one may not use it; however, reinforcement with a graft of the rectus abdominis posterior sheath was useful. The rectus abdominis posterior sheath is easily taken from the same operative field and is associated with a low rate of septic complications. Yigit et al.  reported that the rectus abdominis fascial sheath was useful for crural reinforcement of a hiatal hernia. Such a graft is more effective than mesh from the viewpoint of cost-effectiveness and infectious complications.
Our patient’s clinical course provides two important clinical suggestions. First, iatrogenic IPDH can occur in a patient who has undergone esophagectomy with antethoracic pedicled jejunal limb reconstruction. Second, a graft harvested from the rectus abdominis posterior sheath is useful for repair and/or reinforcement of IPDH.