Hiatus hernia surgeon Gold Coast
Hiatus hernia explained
What are hiatal hernias?
A hiatal hernia occurs when part of your stomach pokes through the diaphragm, the large muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen.
Your diaphragm has a tiny opening called ‘hiatus’. Your food pipe or oesophagus passes through this opening before it reaches your stomach. In case you have a hiatal hernia, part of your stomach pushes up through the opening into your chest.
If it is a small hernia, you may not experience any symptoms but in larger ones you may feel discomfort, including:
- Acid reflux (backflow of stomach acid into your oesophagus),
- Regurgitation of food or liquid into your mouth,
- Have trouble swallowing,
- Chest pain.
These symptoms might worsen when you’re eating, lying down, or bending over.
Everyone can develop a hiatal hernia but it is more common in people over 50. Other risk factors include obesity and smoking. An unusually high amount of abdominal pressure can increase your risk as well, including heavy lifting, coughing or straining during bowel movements. Some people are born with an exceptionally large hiatus, which also increases their risk.
How are hiatal hernias diagnosed?
Typically, hiatal hernias are discovered when we are investigating the cause of heartburn or chest pain.
- X-ray: You will swallow a chalky liquid called barium. This helps your stomach and oesophagus show up better in the X-ray.
- Endoscopy: A thin, flexible tube with a small camera on the end is inserted through your mouth, allowing us to look inside your stomach and oesophagus.
- Oesophageal manometry: This test measures the pressure and muscle contraction in your oesophagus. Core Specialist Group is the only specialist clinic that offers this test in Gold Coast.
Hiatus hernia surgeon Gold Coast
How are hiatal hernias treated?
Not everyone with a hiatus hernia will need treatment. If you have a small one without experiencing symptoms, you don’t need to do anything about it.
If you do experience symptoms, we may advise medications to treat heartburn or acid reflux.
If it is a large hernia that is causing severe discomfort, and medications don’t relieve your symptoms, you may need surgery.
Hiatal hernia repair
The aim of hiatal hernia surgery is to push your stomach back into place and tighten the opening in your diaphragm.
There are two types of surgery:
- Laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair: Small incisions are made in the abdomen and a small tube with a camera on the end (laparoscope) is inserted through one of the keyholes. The surgical instruments are inserted through the other small incisions. Typically, recovery time is faster with this method.
- Open hiatal hernia repair: In open surgery, a single large incision is made in the upper abdomen or chest area, depending on the specific area of the hernia. The incision gives us direct access to the hernia. This type of surgery typically involves a longer recovery.
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Core Specialist Group for hernia repair
At Core Specialist Group, your health and comfort are our highest priority. If you have been told you may have a hiatus hernia, and are looking for compassionate and exceptional patient care, please get in touch with our friendly team. With consulting rooms in Tugun, Lismore (NSW) and Byron Bay (NSW) we will make you feel at ease in the lead up to your consultation and possible surgery.