Many types of hernias occur in millions of people around the world, but the most common form that affects the majority of hernia patients is hiatus hernia. The other types are: inguinal hernia, umbilical hernia and sports fracture. These types are less common than hiatus hernias.
Any type of hernia occurs when part of an organ enters a tear that occurs in nearby muscles. With a hiatus hernia, the upper part of the stomach enters the chest through an opening in the diaphragm called the hiatus. The diaphragm is the muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen, and the space is an opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus reaches the stomach.
When a hiatus hernia occurs, the upper part of the stomach and the end of the esophagus slide through the hiatus because it is weakened. This is called a slippery hiatus hernia. Most hiatus hernias are slippery hiatus hernias, but some people suffer from another form, called a paraesophageal hernia, which is a bit more dangerous because the stomach can be strangled. For this reason, some call it a strangulated hiatus hernia. In a paraesophageal hernia, the upper part of the stomach and the esophagus do not slide together through the space as in a sliding hiatus hernia, but a small part of the stomach slides through the space and can strangling the esophagus and interrupting its blood supply.
The exact cause of hiatus hernia is not fully known. This can happen after an accident that affects the patient’s chest or abdomen, or if the pressure in the abdominal cavity increases due to repeated coughing or during pregnancy.
Hiatus hernia does not cause any symptoms or problems in the body so in most cases people have it and they don’t even know it but they are not at risk. Treatment is only required in the event of a strangulation. In this case, the patient must be operated on to bring the stomach back to its normal position.
Hiatus hernia surgery can be performed using the laparoscope, an instrument used in many types of surgery. This allows the doctor to operate without making a large incision in the chest, but through a very small incision.
Most people with a hiatus hernia can easily live with it without experiencing any problems. However, if you know you have it and often experience abdominal pain or even vomiting, there is a risk of strangulation. Ask your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.