What is a Hiatal Hernia?
Hiatal hernias occur when the stomach and esophagus slide up through the diaphragm into the chest.
Common symptoms are heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Hiatal hernias are a common condition seen most often in adults over the age of 50. Although the cause is unknown, a hiatal hernia may be the result of a weakening of the tissues supporting the digestive tract.
Paraesophageal hernias occur when part of the stomach is squeezed up into the chest beside the esophagus. The stomach can be strangulated, restricting blood supply to the related tissues.
Any one of these hernias may be recurrent. This means, simply, that a previously repaired hernia has returned. People with especially weak abdominal walls or multiple surgical sites may simultaneously suffer from a combination of types of hernias.
The Bard Crurasoft Patch can be used for a tension-free repair technique to repair esophageal hiatal defects during laparoscopic fundoplications and parasophageal hernia repairs. Fundoplication is a technique where part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus and sewn into place. The patch can also be used to reinforce or buttress the hiatal hernia that has been closed primarily with sutures. This adds strength to the repair. Like any surgery, there is always a chance for complications, like infection or hernia recurrence. Your physician will discuss these with you prior to surgery.
Symptoms of a hiatal hernia can be relieved with weight reduction and with smoking cessation. It is also important to avoid eating large meals and to also avoid lying down after eating. Medications can be prescribed, and occasionally surgical repair of the hernia is required. Increasing age, obesity, and smoking are risk factors for development of hiatal hernias in adults.
The following animated procedure utilizes EsophyXTIF technology to repair Hiatal Hernias and prevent heartburn - Dr. Kevin Gillian, Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group – Hernia & Heartburn Institute.
Reflux Gets Robotic Treatment
Some 40 million Americans suffer from acid reflux, a condition in which stomach acid flows backwards into the esophagus, causing a painful burning sensation. For most, heartburn is only an occasional source of discomfort that can be treated with moderate lifestyle changes such as eating earlier (three hours before bedtime) and cutting back on “trigger” foods such as caffeine, alcohol, mint, citrus or heavy spices. Medications that suppress the production of gastric acid (proton pump inhibitors or PPIs) may also be prescribed to relieve symptoms.