There are two types of hiatal hernias: slippery and paraesophageal, with the former being more common and the latter more dangerous. About 15% of Americans suffer from hernias.
Slippery vs. Paraesophageal
Slippery hernias, the most common, occur when the intersection of the esophagus and stomach slides through the gap into the chest cavity.
Parasophageal hernias occur when part of the stomach passes the gap and is next to the esophagus. A paraesophageal hernia is more likely to be at risk of strangulation than a slippery hiatal hernia.
Suspected hiatal hernia
People at risk are more often women, overweight people and people over 50 years of age. This is due to pregnancy factors, stress from being overweight and tissue abrasion.
Detect a hiatal hernia
Hernias can be caused by injuries to the abdomen or chest. Sometimes a patient develops a hernia due to a birth defect that resulted in a large interruption. In other cases, a severe cough, sneeze, or long-term exposure to the toilet can damage the tissue and cause a hernia.
Patients can have small hernias and never know. As they gain weight, symptoms such as regurgitation, mild fatigue, difficulty swallowing, and acid reflux may appear.
Hernias are diagnosed by endoscopy or x-ray, but treatment of hiatal hernias is not always necessary, especially if the patient is not in pain.
Manage your hiatal hernia at home
Ahernia can often be treated at home with over-the-counter medications and a special diet. To alleviate the symptoms at home, medications such as antacids, acid reducers and proton pump inhibitors can be taken. To relieve symptoms at home, you can replace some large meals with several small ones and avoid spicy or citrus-based foods. Also avoid obesity, smoking and alcohol to avoid heartburn and pressure on the hernia. Finally, some doctors recommend waiting 2 hours after meals to sleep and lifting the head of the bed 6 inches.
When should your Hialeah hernia be treated?
Treatment of hernias is usually done laparoscopic ally when there is a risk of strangulation. Usually the surgeon returns the stomach to its natural position or removes the hernia. Then reduce the size of the diaphragm opening or strengthen the areas where the stomach and esophagus connect. Recovery usually takes about 2 to 3 weeks and recurrence is possible.