The primary therapeutic target for congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) patients has shifted from emergency surgical repair towards a non-operative emergency of the newborn treated by interdisciplinary teams. The increased understanding of the epidemiological and pathophysiological aspects of CDH have led to an improved knowledge and application of prenatal diagnosis, postnatal ventilation strategies, treatment of associated pulmonary hypertension and the role of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy. In the surgical field, the perspectives have changed with delayed CDH repair, the introduction of minimally invasive surgery and use of prosthetic material for closure of large defects. With decreased mortality, long term multi-organ morbidity has increased in some survivors. In the near future, randomized controlled trials on different aspects of therapy will determine evidence-based optimal care. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.