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Reflux and Hiatal Hernia

Posted On : April 17, 2017

One of the leading reasons for Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a physical defect called a Hiatal hernia. The esophageal Hiatus is the opening in the diaphragm where the esophagus enters from chest cavity allowing the esophagus to pass into the abdominal space. If the opening in the diaphragm is much larger than the esophagus, it will result in reflux of the stomach secretions and food from the stomach into esophagus. *Note: Graphic surgical pictures below

Hiatal Hernia Causes:

  • heavy lifting
  • coughing
  • obesity
  • injury
  • persistent vomiting
  • age related

Reflux and Hernia Symptoms:

  • sour taste
  • reflux
  • heartburn
  • belching
  • chest or abdominal pain
  • difficulty swallowing
  • vomiting
  • no symptoms
Anatomical picture of Hiatal hernia with reflux
Anatomical picture of Hiatal hernia with reflux
Surgical repair of Hiatal hernia causing reflux
Surgical repair of Hiatal hernia causing reflux

The treatment includes dietary changes, medication and in those who do not improve surgery.

Hiatal hernia repair includes tightening of the dilated opening of the esophageal hiatus by re-appoximating the separated muscle fibers of the right and the left crus. This tightens the defect in the diaphragm and helps prevent part of the stomach or stomach contents from entering the chest cavity.

You can find further information and dietary changes regarding Hiatal Hernia and GERD here, including information unique to weight loss surgery and Hiatal Hernia. You can also find further surgical information, as well as a surgical video here.

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