Hiatal Hernia Surgery

Hiatal Hernia Surgery

What is Hiatal Hernia?

A hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm, a muscular wall that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen. Usually, the food pipe (esophagus) goes to the hiatus, and then it attaches to the stomach. A hiatal hernia (or hiatus hernia) is a condition where the upper stomach bulges up into the diaphragm.

Two Types of Hiatal Hernia

The two main types of hiatal hernias:

  • Sliding Hiatal Hernia – a more common type of hernia. The stomach and the esophagus slide into the chest during hiatus.
  • Paraesophageal Hernia – is the less common type, but a more cause of concern.

The esophagus and the stomach stay in their usual locations, but part of the stomach squeezes through the hiatus. Thus it lands next to the throat. Although you can experience this type of hernia without any symptoms, there is a high risk of having a “strangled” stomach or have its blood supply shut off.

Causes and Symptoms

Most of the time, the cause of hiatal hernia is unknown. Increased pressure in abdomens like pregnancy and obesity can also play a role.

Some with hiatal hernia have similar symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which occurs when digestive juices move from the stomach back to the esophagus.

Most small hiatal hernias cause no signs or symptoms, but larger hiatal hernias can cause:

  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation or ejecting food and liquid content into the mouth
  • Acid reflux (backflow of the stomach acid into the esophagus)
  • Difficulty on swallowing
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blood vomiting or the passing of black stools, which may indicate gastrointestinal bleeding

Our Surgical Treatments for Hiatal Hernia

Three types of surgery for hiatal hernia are the following: 

  • Nissen Fundoplication or Keyhole Surgery
  • Endoluminal Fundoplication

All these three procedures require a general anesthetic.

Nissen Fundoplication

It is the most commonly performed surgery for hiatal hernia, which uses laparoscopic repair or keyhole surgery. The good thing for this surgery is it’s minimally invasive, which means the hernia surgeon only requires to create few incisions in the abdomen

Laparoscopic repair has some advantages compared to other types of hiatal hernia surgery. These include:

  • Less risk of infection
  • Less painful
  • Reduced scarring
  • Less time in the hospital
  • Quicker recovery
  • Open Surgery

This procedure is much riskier than laparoscopic repair as it involves creating a larger incision in the abdomen to fix the hernia. It creates a tight sphincter that will stop the stomach acid from leaking back into the esophagus (reflux).

The surgeon needs to insert a tube sometimes to keep the stomach in place. After several weeks, the doctor can remove it.

Endoluminal Fundoplication

This is a relatively new procedure and even less-invasive than laparoscopic repair. It involves placing an endoscope down the throat and into the esophagus. This is a relatively new procedure and even less-invasive than laparoscopic repair. It involves placing an endoscope down the throat and into the esophagus. 

The live feed from the endoscope will serve as a guide in this procedure, your doctor will put small clips in the place where your esophagus and stomach meet. Those clips will prevent any food or gastric acid from backing up to your esophagus. 

However, endoluminal devices are not entirely reliable, and many people experience their symptoms coming back.

Book A Consultation Today!

If you detect that you’re experiencing discomfort due to hiatal hernia or any other hernias, book a consultation with us today!  Our treatment is committed to giving you patient-centered care, and we make sure to guide you through the whole process. Contact us now!