What is a Hiatal Hernia?
A hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach moves upwards into the chest. If the hernia causes severe symptoms or is likely to cause complications, then hiatal hernia surgery may be required.
When is surgery recommended?
Surgery may be recommended if:
- symptoms are severe and interfere with quality of life
- symptoms do not respond to other treatments
- the hernia is at risk of becoming strangulated, which is where the blood supply to the herniated tissue is cut off — a situation that can be fatal
- symptoms include bleeding, ulcers, or narrowing of the food pipe (esophagus), which is known as an esophageal stricture
Types of surgeries
- Nissen fundoplication (or keyhole surgery) involving tiny incisions in the abdomen to place a laparoscope
- Open surgery involving a larger incision in the abdomen
Post surgery, the patient will need to follow a certain lifestyle and stick to a diet. Most people can return to their regular diet between 3 to 6 weeks after surgery.