A hiatus hernia is a pouch of stomach pushing up from the abdomen into the chest, usually through the hole in the diaphragm (breathing muscle) for the oesophagus (gullet) to pass through.
Hiatus hernia is extremely common and they are very variable in size. Most people with this problem have a very small hernia, which usually causes neither symptoms nor long term issues. If the hernia is large and contains a lot of abdominal organs, it may cause many symptoms including nausea, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of food, pain after eating, vomiting after eating, nausea, weight loss and/ or shortness of breath after meals.
If you have any or all of these symptoms, it is important to discuss these with your GP to see if there is a need for investigation. Investigations may include a gastroscopy, barium x-ray or CT scan.
In certain circumstances a hiatus hernia is required to be repaired. The operation to do this is called a ‘Hiatus Hernia Repair‘.