Hiatal and Paraesophageal Hernias
Hiatal hernias are common but rarely need to be repaired. A hiatal hernia occurs when an organ, typically the stomach, protrudes through the esophageal opening in the diaphragm. The esophagus normally passes through the hiatus and attaches to the stomach. In hiatal hernia patients, the stomach begins to bulge into the chest through that opening.
These hernias can cause acid reflux from the stomach into the esophagus which can lead to heartburn, pain, and erosion of the esophagus. Surgery is sometimes required at Ogden Clinic to repair hiatal stomach hernias, although the process can be more complicated than umbilical or inguinal hernia repair.
The paraesophageal hernia is less common than a sliding hiatal stomach hernia, but is more cause for concern. When a paraesophageal hernia begins to cause pain in the chest or makes swallowing difficult, it must be repaired. Patients who do not repair a paraesophageal hernia run the risk of cutting off the blood supply to the stomach or getting the stomach stuck in the obstruction.
Although complex, hiatal and paraesophageal hernias can usually be repaired with a laparoscope. Dr. Dunning will gradually move the stomach back to the abdominal cavity and then close the opening to prevent reoccurrence.