Hiatal Hernia and GERD Surgery

Minimally invasive hiatal hernia and GERD surgery is preferred over open surgery
since it offers improved outcomes with decreased pain and faster recovery. Dr. Pozzessere is one of the best hernia surgeons in New Jersey.


What is GERD?

GERD (GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease) is commonly known as acid reflux. This condition occurs when acid from the stomach flows back up into the esophagus. In a healthy patient, anatomic and physiologic factors create a valve at the junction of the esophagus and stomach, preventing reflux. When that valve becomes incompetent, reflux occurs, and patients become symptomatic.

bad valve

GERD Valve

good valve

Healthy Valve

dot bg

Typical Symptoms

burning sensation in the chest, upper abdomen, or throat

regurgitation of food or sour liquid into the esophagus, throat, or mouth

Atypical Symptoms


GERD can often be diagnosed with classic endoscopic findings in conjunction with typical clinical symptoms. In some cases, and particularly prior to surgery, additional studies are performed to further characterize the disease. These additional studies may include:

A small probe is placed that measures the acid content refluxing into the esophagus

Commonly known as a “barium swallow,” this is an X-ray study that takes live motion pictures while a patient drinks contrast. It helps characterize the function of the esophagus, as well as identify the presence of a hiatal hernia

This study evaluates the muscle pressures in different regions of the esophagus and helps identify physiologic dysfunction contributing to symptoms


Diet and Lifestyle Modifications


  • Gold standard medical therapy for GERD
  • Blocks the stomach’s acid production
  • Also commonly used, but need to be taken twice daily
  • Blocks acid production, but less so than PPI
  • Often used to help with immediate symptom relief
  • Does not address acid production

Stomach Surgery for GERD

Indications for stomach surgery for GERD include any of the following:

Minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy or robotic surgery) is typically performed to treat GERD. Four small incisions are used to perform the surgery. The main components to the procedure include (1) mobilizing the lower part of the esophagus into the abdomen, (2) repairing any hiatal hernia that may be present, and (3) wrapping the top part of the stomach around the esophagus to recreate the valve function that has been lost. The surgical method of wrapping part of the stomach around the base of the esophagus is referred to as “fundoplication.”

Recently, an endoscopic technique has be used in select patients to successfully treat GERD. This new procedure is called Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication, or TIF. If you would like to learn more about this procedure and see if you are a candidate, Click Here to visit our page on TIF.

fundoplication e1634565858364

Hiatal Hernia Repair

Hiatal hernias are not located on the abdominal wall, but rather on the inside of the abdomen where the esophagus meets the stomach. The “hiatus” refers to the opening in the diaphragm where the esophagus passes through from the chest into the abdomen and empties into the stomach. When this opening becomes larger than normal and the stomach slides up into the chest, a hiatal hernia is present. Symptoms often include heartburn, reflux, regurgitation, and a feeling that food gets stuck in the lower part of the chest or upper abdomen and does not pass through easily. Patients with GERD often have hiatal hernias.

What is a Hiatal Hernia?

Hiatal hernias are treated with surgery. During surgery, the portion of the stomach that has migrated above the diaphragm into the chest is pulled back down into the abdomen and the enlarged opening in the diaphragm muscle is closed down to its original size with sutures. To minimize reflux symptoms and help prevent recurrence, a fundoplication is performed. In some cases, a hiatal hernia repair can be combined with the TIF procedure.

Gerd Fact Sheet
Gerd Fact Sheet
213 KB
508 KB

Get Examined by one of the best hernia surgen

Dr. Anthony Pozzessere, a top General Surgeon and hernia specialist located in Bergen County, New Jersey, boasts extensive expertise in conducting robot-assisted surgeries. His proficiency in hernia surgery has led to reduced pain, faster recovery, shorter hospital stays, and heightened patient satisfaction. With a wealth of experience in robotic GERD surgery, Dr. Pozzessere has successfully completed numerous procedures, aiding countless patients in their journey towards recovery.