My doctor has recommended that I have my hiatal hernia repaired. I am waiting to see a surgeon. Is this a good idea, and what should I ask the surgeon?
Although rarely necessary, at times, surgical repair of a hiatal hernia is the right choice in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease . There are two types of hiatal hernia. In the much more common, sliding hernia, in which the stomach slides below the esophagus into the chest, medical therapy usually is very effective. The paraesophageal hernia, in which the stomach herniates next to the esophagus, is usually managed surgery. This is because of the potentially life-threatening complication of strangulation. When surgery is considered, it is best to see a surgeon that performs the procedure laparoscopically, if it is possible. Laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery involves reinforcing the valve between the esophagus and the stomach by wrapping the upper portion of the stomach around the lowest portion of the esophagus. Using on...
<p><strong>What Is GERD?</strong></p>
<p>Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the most common cause of heartburn (which actually has nothing to do with the heart), is the regurgitation of the contents of the stomach and duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine) into the esophagus, the muscular tube through which food travels from the mouth to the stomach. Because the esophagus lacks the protective lining of the stomach, it is easily irritated by digestive juices; the irritation causes a “burning” sensation in the chest.</p>
<p>The lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a circular band of muscle located at the junction of the esophagus and stomach, is usually clenched but opens when a person swallows to permit food or liquid to enter the stomach. Reflux occurs when, for a variety of possible reasons, the LES allows stomach contents to pass upward into the esophagus.</p>
<p>Usually reflux produces no sy...
Heartburn, also known as gastric reflux or indigestion, happens after you eat and food is in your stomach. In the stomach, food is broken down by acids. Usually these acids stay in your stomach because a valve blocks the acids from going up the esophagus. Sometimes this valve doesn't work properly because the muscle weakens. When this happens, gastric acids can travel up the esophagus and cause a burning sensation -- this is heartburn. When these acids travel up into the mouth and then down into the lungs, they can cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Symptoms of heartburn and GERD include:
irritating burning sensation in the chest or throat
middle back pain
bitter, acidic taste in the mouth
an increase in the burning sensation while lying down
Breast cancer treatments that can cause heartburn and GERD are:
Tykerb (chemical name: lapatinib), a targeted therapy
Bisphosphonates, medicines that are used to protect bones during breast cancer treat...
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