What is Hiatal Hernia?


Hiatal Hernia or Hiatus Hernia is a medical term which defines a medical condition in which an organ of the body intrudes into an area where it does not essentially belong. This is called Hernia. Hiatus or Hiatal is an aperture in the diaphragm. A diaphragm is a wall that separates the abdomen from the chest region. The pipe, through which the food passes, oesophagus, passes from this aperture and into the stomach. What happens in hiatal or hiatus hernia is the stomach pushed into the chest cavity through this aperture.

Symptoms for Hiatal Hernia

Most of the patients suffering from hiatal hernia of any type do not face any obvious symptoms of it, whereas, others may feel medical problems related to the stomach and the abdominal region like heartburn, and other issues related to gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. However, as strange as it may sound, many times people do not face any symptoms or issues of GERD despite having the problem of hiatal hernia whereas others have GERD but do not face ant type of hiatal hernia. This is bewildering since both these factors seem to correlate and lie closely to each other.

On the other hand, many times people who are suffering from heartburn are thought of having chest pains or a heart attack, whereas in reality they are suffering from hiatal hernia. Therefore, it is important to go through all the relevant tests before getting the treatment.

Types of Hiatal Hernia

hh1There are mainly two common types of hiatal hernia, sliding hiatal hernia and paraesophageal hiatal hernia. The first type of hiatal hernia, sliding hiatal hernia, is the most common type of all. This medical condition causes the stomach and the part in the oesophagus attached to it to climb up in the chest through the cavity in the diaphragm. This type of hernia can be cured easily.

The second type of hiatal hernia, the paraesophageal hernia, is not as common as the first one but it is more dangerous than the first one . Seemingly, in this type of hernia, the oesophagus and the stomach do not go to the chest cavity however, the stomach is squeezed through the aperture and it gets placed next to the oesophagus. There is a potential danger in this case that the stomach is been squeezed and strangled and the blood supply can be cut to this organ.

Diagnosis for Hiatal Hernia

It is not difficult to diagnose hiatal hernia, if the patient undergoes the appropriate testing. A specialized X-ray is used to diagnose this medical condition which helps the doctor access what is going on the oesophagus or an endoscopy is performed.


Treatment for Hiatal Hernia

Many patients do not feel any kind of problem or physically obvious symptom even if they are suffering from this problem. Therefore, in many cases, no special treatment is performed. In other cases, like in the case of paraesophageal hernia, it is important to undergo a surgery since the stomach of the patient is being strangled. The issues of GERD and heartburn are also treated.

Recovery following Surgery

If a patient is suffering from paraesophageal hernia, the doctor performs a type of surgery called laparoscopic on him/her. This type of procedure involves small incisions in the patient’s body through which the doctor monitors the conditions and handle them according. This procedure is easy, safer, quicker, less painful and therefore the recovery is more rapid as well.

Note: Please note this information is intended for general knowledge purpose only. Please consult your surgeon for the treatment plan of your hernia. Treatments will be tailored as per each patient.

Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is for general knowledge purposes only. It is, in no means, a replacement for your doctor’s advice. Please consult your doctor and surgeon with your particular case for effective treatment and recovery of your condition.