Hiatus Hernia

Hiatal Hernia:

  • A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach pushes up through your diaphragm and into your chest region.
  • The diaphragm is a large muscle that lies between your abdomen and chest. You use this muscle to help you breathe.
  • Normally, your stomach is below the diaphragm, but in people with a hiatal hernia, a portion of the stomach pushes up through the muscle. The opening it moves through is called a hiatus.
  • Types of hiatal hernia There are generally two types of hiatal hernia:

Sliding hiatal

  • This is the most common type of hiatal hernia.
  • Hernias and fixed, or paraesophageal hernias.
  • It occurs when your stomach and esophagus slide into and out of your chest through the hiatus.
  • Sliding hernias tend to be small. They usually don’t cause any symptoms. They may not require treatment.

Fixed hiatal hernia

  • This type of hernia isn’t as common.
  • It’s also known as a paraesophageal hernia.
  • In a fixed hernia, part of your stomach pushes through your diaphragm and stays there.
  • Most cases are not serious. However, there is a risk that blood flow to your stomach could become blocked. If that happens, it could cause serious damage and is considered a medical emergency.

Treatment options for hiatal hernias:

  • Most cases of hiatal hernias don’t require treatment. The presence of symptoms usually determines treatment.
  • If you have acid reflux and heartburn, you may be treated with medications or, if those don’t work, surgery.
  • Medications Medications your doctor may prescribe include:

Over-the-counter antacids to neutralize stomach acid -over-the-counter or prescription H2-receptor blockers that lower acid production-over-the-counter or prescription proton pump inhibitors to prevent acid production, giving your esophagus time to heal.

  • Surgery If medications don’t work, you might need surgery on your hiatal hernia. However, surgery is not commonly recommended.

Some types of surgery for this condition include:

  • Rebuilding weak esophageal muscles-putting your stomach back in place and making your hiatus smaller.
  • To perform surgery, doctors either make a standard incision in the chest or abdomen, or use laparoscopic surgery, which shortens recovery time. Hernias can come back after surgery.
  • You can reduce this risk by: staying at a healthy weight-getting help lifting heavy objects-avoiding strain on your abdominal muscles


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