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Hiatal Hernia - 3 Types Of Surgeries That Are Often Recommended!

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Diploma In Minimal Access Surgery
General Surgeon, Bangalore  •  17 years experience
Hiatal Hernia - 3 Types Of Surgeries That Are Often Recommended!

Hernia is the name given to the condition where an internal part of your body pushes itself into another area of the body where it does not belong. A hiatal is the opening in the muscular wall which is called the diaphragm. This usually separates the abdomen from the chest cavity. In the human body, the food pipe, which is called the esophagus passes through this hiatal and joins the stomach area. Hiatal hernia is a condition when the stomach bulges up through this opening, into the chest.

Causes of Hiatal Hernia:
The main cause of hiatal hernia is not known at present, but there are certain factors that can cause it. It could occur when there is an increased pressure on the abdomen area such as during a pregnancy, coughing, obesity, too much straining at the time of bowel movement. Some people are also born with a wide hiatal opening.

Who needs surgical treatment for Hiatal Hernia?
In most of the cases, hiatal hernia does not show any kind of serious signs and hence you need not have to worry about it, When you experience symptoms such as acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disorder or heartburn, then you can treat them with mild medication and with the help of your doctor. But when the symptoms are severe and interferes with the quality of your life, or if the symptoms are not responding to medication, when the blood flow to the herniated tissue is blocked, causes ulcers, or heavy bleeding, you will need a surgery.

There are three types of surgeries for hiatal hernia.

  • Nissen Fundoplication: This is the most common surgery done for hiatal hernia. This is also called keyhole surgery or laparoscopic surgery. Small incisions are made in the abdomen area and the hernia is repaired. The surgeon also tightens the stomach in order to avoid the reoccurrence of this condition. It is a less painful and minimal scar process. Recovery time is also less compared to other surgical techniques and you also need not have to stay for a long period in the hospital.
  • Open repairs: For the repair of the hernia, a large incision is made in the abdomen area. The stomach is pulled back to its original place from the chest area. A small tube is also inserted in certain cases in order to keep the stomach in its original place and prevent it from moving towards the chest area. This kind of surgery has a lot of risks.
  • Endoluminal Fundoplication: This is the latest surgery technique and rarely used. No incisions are made in this procedure. Only a tube and camera are passed through the throat. The stomach is tightened and acid reflux is prevented.
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