An Overview Of Hiatal Hernia: When To Seek Help

By Alley Benton
Updated January 26, 2017
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An Overview Of Hiatal Hernia: When To Seek HelpWhenever a part of the internal body moves into a place where it shouldn't be or doesn't belong, the medical community refers to this condition as hernia. The hiatus is an opening that is located towards the bottom of the diaphragm, which is the muscular wall responsible for separating the abdomen from the chest cavity. Normally, the pipe that moves your food into your stomach goes through the hiatus into the stomach. However, in the case of a hiatal hernia, the stomach pushes into the chest through the available opening.

This overview of hiatal hernia will give you an insight into the two main types of hiatal hernias, when to seek help, and when you might need to have surgery.

Overview of Hiatal Hernia: The Two Types:

There are two primary types of hiatal hernia. The first is the paraesophageal hernia, and the second is the sliding hernia. Although the paraesophageal hernia is far less common than the sliding hernia, it is more worrisome. In that case, the esophagus and stomach stay where they should be, yet part of the stomach squeeze through the hiatus which means it ends up beside the esophagus. Though this hernia might not cause any symptoms, your stomach can struggle to receive the blood it needs to function properly.

If you discover any problems with appetite loss, chest pain, and heart burn, it's important to seek the assistance of a doctor as quickly as possible. In addition, you may also need to commit to regular checkups if you are concerned about hiatal hernia, as you might not notice any symptoms that would convince you to seek a doctor in the first place.

What Can Be Done About Hiatal Hernias?

Any overview of hiatal hernia issues would be lacking without some discussion of treatment solutions. Because most people don't experience any symptoms of their hernia, treatment may not be necessary. However, in cases of paraesophageal hiatal hernias, wherein part of the stomach pushes into the hiatus, it is important to seek surgery if the stomach cannot receive the blood that it needs.

Your doctor should be able to tell you after a thorough examination whether surgery could be essential in your specific case. If the stomach is in danger of suffering from strangulation or constriction to such an extent that the blood supply is limited, the hernia will need to be reduced, which means putting it back to where it belongs. Most of the time, hiatal hernia surgeries can be performed as minimally invasive procedures. During this form of surgery, a few small incisions would be made into the abdomen. A laparoscope that permits the surgeon to see inside of the abdomen will be inserted through these incisions, along with the correct surgical instruments.

During the course of the procedure, the surgeon will use the laparoscope to guide them. Many patients appreciate laparoscopic surgery because the incisions are smaller, there are fewer risks of infection, and the recovery is generally faster because of the smaller cuts.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.