A Hiatus Hernia refers to the condition where part of the abdominal contents (usually the stomach) protrudes from the abdomen up into the chest. In the common hiatus hernia the stomach literally moves through the diaphragm from the abdomen into the chest behind the heart. This disorder occurs due to “wear and tear” of the diaphragm and happens very slowly over many years. Many hiatus hernias a very small and require no treatment. Some, however, can grow very large and a number of issues can arise.
As hiatus hernia’s enlarge, there can be a range of symptoms including heartburn, regurgitation of food, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath and occasionally vomiting and internal bleeding. If someone is suffering from symptoms, it is advisable to consider operative repair.
A hiatus hernia can be repaired with an operation, replacing the normal contents back into the abdomen. This can be performed very safely via keyhole surgery and most patients stay in hospital between one and three nights after the operation.