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...
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...
Hernia repair is surgery to correct a hernia. A hernia is an abnormal bulging of internal organs, often the intestine, through a weakness in a muscular wall.
This article focuses on surgery to repair a hernia. For information on a specific type of hernia see:
Before surgery, you will be given a sedative to make you drowsy. A local or spinal numbing medicine (anesthesia) will be used so you do not feel pain during the procedure. In some cases, the procedure is done while you are under general anesthesia (unconscious and pain-free).
The surgeon makes a cut over the area of the hernia. The bulging tissue or organ is placed back inside the muscle wall, the muscle tissue is repaired, and the skin is closed. In many inguinal hernia repairs, a small piece of ...
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