I suffer from reflux, underwent an upper GI series, and have been told that I have a paraesophageal hiatal hernia. I have an appointment with a gastroenterologist, but my internist said that I might need surgery. My symptoms aren't that bad. Should I be concerned?
Hiatal hernias are defects in the diaphragm that allow the stomach to slide up into the chest. While they can cause heartburn, generally this is controlled with medications and surgery is not needed. The stomach moves up through the diaphragm right underneath the esophagus. That type of hernia is called a sliding hiatal hernia. The much rarer type, paraesophageal hernia, occurs when the stomach goes through the diaphragm next to the esophagus. Paraesophageal hernias generally tend to enlarge with time, and sometimes the entire stomach is found within the chest. Most patients with a paraesophageal hernia remain asymptomatic. In this type of hernia, symptoms from acid reflux usually do not occur. Instead, the most commo...
Hernia - inguinal; Inguinal hernia; Rupture; Strangulation; Incarceration
Surgery is the only treatment that can permanently fix a hernia. However, smaller hernias with no symptoms can sometimes be watched. Surgery may have more risk for patients with serious medical problems.
Surgery will usually be used for hernias that are getting larger or are painful. Surgery secures the weakened abdominal wall tissue (fascia) and will close any holes. Today, most hernias are closed with cloth patches to plug up the holes.
An umbilical hernia that fails to heal on its own by the time your child is 5 years old may be repaired.
Emergency surgery is sometimes needed. The sac containing the intestine or other tissue may become stuck in the hole in the abdominal wall. If it cannot be pushed back through, this can lead to a strangulated loop of intestine. If left untreated, this portion of the intestine dies because it loses its blood supply.
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