If you’re suffering from a hiatal hernia, JMS surgeons could provide you with the relief you’re seeking.
If your symptoms are severe and interfere with your quality of life, fast-track your consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons.
What is a Hiatal Hernia?
A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach moves upward into the chest. If the hernia causes severe symptoms or is likely to cause complications, then hiatal hernia surgery may be required.
There are two types of hiatal hernias:
- Sliding hiatal hernia – The most common type of hernia, sliding hiatal hernias occur when the stomach and the part of the esophagus that joins the stomach slide up into the chest through the hiatus.
- Paraesophageal hernia – This type of hiatal hernia is not as common as sliding hiatal hernias but is more dangerous. With paraesophageal hernias, the stomach and esophagus remain in their normal position, but part of the stomach moves up through the hiatus, bringing it next to the esophagus, causing concern that the stomach can be “strangled” or have its blood supply cut off.
If a hiatal hernia is small, there may be no symptoms at all. However, larger hiatal hernias are more dangerous and can cause chronic bleeding, ulcers, narrowing of the esophagus, anemia, chronic pain, complications from gastroesophageal reflux disease, chronic cough and throat clearing, inability to vomit and recurrent pneumonia.
How is a Hiatal Hernia Treated?
Many people do not experience any symptoms of a hiatal hernia, and in those cases, no treatment is required.
Heartburn or reflux is a relatively mild symptom of hiatal hernias, and your doctor may suggest medications to treat it. Making some small lifestyle changes can also help control acid reflux caused by hiatal hernia.
In cases in which surgery is indicated, surgeons often employ minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. Surgery may be recommended if:
- Symptoms are severe and do not respond to other treatments
- The hernia is at risk of becoming strangulated, a situation that can be fatal
What is Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is becoming more common because it is less invasive. The surgeon makes small incisions in the abdomen before inserting a laparoscope, a small camera that allows the surgeon to view images of the internal organs on a monitor. Guided by the laparoscope, the doctor performs the surgery through a 5 to 10 mm opening.
Because the incisions are smaller than those required for traditional surgery, laparoscopic surgery also carries a lower risk of infection, less pain, little scarring and more rapid recovery. Most patients who receive laparoscopic surgery are able to walk just one day later.
This type of surgery usually carries no postsurgical food restrictions, and normal activities can be resumed within a week. Complete recovery occurs within 2 to 3 weeks, but no heavy lifting should be done for at least 90 days after surgery. Although results are extremely successful, there are no guarantees about their permanence, and some hiatal hernias do return.
The JMS General Surgeons
Our board-certified general surgeon has extensive experience in hernia repair surgery. Dr. Vaughan uses the most advanced technology and techniques in hernia surgery, including minimally invasive laparoscopic repairs.
- JEFFERSON VAUGHAN, MD, FACS
- Vaughan started and led a team through the successful accreditation of the Bariatric Program at Jupiter Medical Center. In addition to his extensive background in weight loss surgery, he performs advanced laparoscopic general surgery, including heartburn and stomach surgery, among others.
Fast-Track Your Consultation
We are here to answer your questions and help you avoid delays in your path to treatment. Both in-person and telehealth consultations are available. Simply fill out the form or call us to begin moving forward with your care.(561) 972-5703