Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal Hernia services offered in Lone Tree, CO

As many as 9 in 10 people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) experience a hiatal hernia, and many others experience hernias without GERD. At the Institute of Esophageal and Reflux Surgery, a part of SOFI Research, LLC, the team of experienced surgeons, including Reginald Bell, MD, and Philip Woodworth, MD, offers compassionate treatment of hiatal hernia at their Lone Tree, Colorado, office. Book your appointment online or call the office to get hiatal hernia help in Denver.

Hiatal Hernia Q & A

What is a hiatal hernia?

A hiatal hernia occurs when the topmost portion of the stomach pushes through the tiny opening (the hiatus) in your diaphragm, where your esophagus lies. Most people learn that they have a hiatal hernia when they’re seeking help for acid reflux (when the stomach contents move the wrong way, up into the esophagus).

Many people with hiatal hernias experience reflux because their lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve between the esophagus and stomach, doesn’t function as it should. Up to 90% of people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) have a hiatal hernia, but it’s often relatively small.

What are the symptoms of a hiatal hernia?

Smaller hiatal hernias usually don’t cause symptoms and aren’t usually dangerous. But some people with larger hiatal hernias experience problems like: 

  • Heartburn
  • Sour taste in the back of the mouth
  • Acid reflux
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing difficulties

Very large hiatal hernias, called paraesophageal hernias, require hernia repair. This is necessary even if you don’t have symptoms because the hernia can twist and, in rare cases, lead to death.

How is a hiatal hernia treated?

The only way to repair a hiatal hernia is surgery. The Institute of Esophageal and Reflux Surgery team specializes in same-day minimally invasive surgical hernia repairs.

They use various advanced approaches, including laparoscopic fundoplication (LES tightening), transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) with the EsophyX® Z+ Device from EndoGastric Solutions® in Redmond, Washington, and LINX® LES replacement, a product of the Ethicon division of Johnson&Johnson® Medtech.

The approach they choose for you will be based on the size of your hernia, other conditions present, and your unique needs.

The team includes highly respected experts in this kind of foregut surgery, which several studies show is key to getting the best results from hiatal hernia repair.

What happens after hiatal hernia repair?

After hiatal hernia repair, you’ll most likely return home the same day. The team usually prescribes pain medication for the first few days. After that, you’ll generally be able to control discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers. You don’t have to restrict your diet after hiatal hernia repair.

The team recommends avoiding strenuous exercise for around four weeks to allow your diaphragm to heal fully.

If you have a hiatal hernia, get expert advice from the leading foregut surgeons in the Denver area at the Institute of Esophageal and Reflux Surgery. Book your appointment online today or call the office to schedule a consultation.