hiatal hernia surgery

What is Hiatal Hernia Surgery?

April 3, 2019

The hiatal hernia is a condition in which some section of your stomach extends upwards to your chest. This is a difficult condition that can be treated either by surgery or medicinal prescription.

Hiatal Hernia Surgery

The hiatal hernia surgery is required when everything from medical to lifestyle changes has already been administered but to no avail. Basically, the hiatal hernia surgery is your last resort to heal your condition. If you are a candidate of the hiatal hernia surgery (please do not be), you can trust that this article will let you have an overview of the surgery.

A hiatal hernia when diagnosed is supposed to be non-life threatening. Your doctor will only prescribe a set of medicine and a few lifestyle changes. In rare cases though, surgery is needed.

At most, hiatal hernia has no significant symptoms and is often best left alone but with few lifestyle changes. However, if its symptoms are already frequent and bother your day to day activities, you might need an intervention from a doctor. Surgery is needed if the following circumstances are experienced:

  1. You need an immediate cure so as the symptoms will not interfere with your normal day to day activities;
  2. Your hiatal hernia is untreatable by a combination of medicine and lifestyle changes;
  3. If your hiatal hernia has a risk to be strangulated. Which at most times can be a fatal complication;
  4. If it affects your esophagus, constricting it;
  5. If it is bleeding already and you have a complication of an ulcer.

Types of Hiatal Hernia Surgery

There are many types of hiatal hernia surgery. These surgeries are called fundoplication and open repairs.

The Fundoplication Surgery

This is probably the most common type of surgery for the hiatal hernia. It uses a laparoscopic device that is to be inserted in your abdomen to repair the hiatal hernia. The device comes with a camera and lighting to guide the surgeon during the surgical process. What good about this process is it is non-invasive. The surgeon just needs a tiny bit of incision in your abdomen. The doctor can also have the option of tightening your stomach opening so no future hiatal hernia will come back.

This type of surgery has many perks over other types of hiatal hernia surgery. Because the incision is pretty small, there is a lesser chance of it getting infected. The recovery period is often quick so staying a long time in the hospital will be worthless. The incision is pretty small, so there is only a little pain associated with it, and no significant scarring is seen.

The Open Surgery

The open surgery is called open because it is literally an operation which involves opening your abdomen. It involves a large incision in your abdomen so the surgeon could do multiple procedures all at once. In this open surgery, the surgeon will usually pull back your stomach and put it accordingly in your stomach cavity where it belongs. Next, the surgeon will put a tube so as to fasten your stomach on its cavity. The surgeon will then wrap the lower part of your food pipe as to prevent the occurrence of acid reflux. You will be coming back for the following next to the doctor could remove the tube that fastens your stomach into its cavity.

The doctor recommends to have you in a clear liquid diet for a certain period of time until you move forward into soft mushy foods like mashed potato until finally, the person could eat solid foods. This is within a timeline so do not try to break that timeline. You could get complications from your disobeying your doctor’s orders.

The laparoscopic surgery is usually not painful, but the person might feel a little bit of twinge into the area. They might also experience difficulty in eating. The patient could also feel fatigue at times. This occurrence pass in a week. You could actually walk and come home the day after your surgery or until you recovered to from the effects of anesthesia. You could also go home if you are able to walk already.

Safety Measures During Recovery

  1. Clean the incised area with clean water and mild soap every day;
  2. Do not use jacuzzis, pools, hot tubs or any susceptible breeding ground of bacteria;
  3. Try to walk around carefully daily;
  4. Drink in your glass and not with a straw;
  5. Avoid lifting heavy objects;
  6. Do not try to drive in three weeks;
  7. Do not overwork yourself;
  8. Take your doctor’s prescribed pain killers;
  9. A clear liquid diet at first that can develop in the following weeks with mushy food like mashed potatoes until it is time for the patient to eat solid food. Follow the doctor’s timeline in this. The person should avoid harsh chemically-laden foods and those that cause stomach inflammation, bloating, and flatulence. These are the food that is forbidden:
    • foods with too much acid
    • beans
    • soft drinks
    • corn
    • broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower
  10. Have a smaller portion of food every day; skip your usual heavy meals

The Effectivity of these Hiatal Hernia Surgeries

The success rate of the most popular type of hiatal hernia surgery which fundoplication, has a success rate of 95 %. The success rate of the open surgery is 86%. 85% of people who have undergone both surgeries will have no symptoms of hiatal hernia for the next 10 years of their lives.

The Risks of the Surgeries

  1. Profuse bleeding in the area;
  2. The possibility of infection;
  3. Injury or trauma to the organs;
  4. Bloating;
  5. Frequent diarrhea;
  6. Vomiting;
  7. The recurrence of the acid reflux symptoms;
  8. The difficulty of swallowing food.

The hiatal hernia is a difficult condition to have and often times bothersome if not treated. So have yourself checked with the doctor now.

Reference

What to know about hiatal hernia surgery

Sat 31 March 2018 By Jayne Leonard

Reviewed by Saurabh (Seth) Sethi, MD MPH

Retrieved last March 21, 2018