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Treating Hiatal Hernias


Updated May 06, 2014

For approximately 50% of individuals with a hiatal hernia, symptoms are not present. For those who do experience symptoms, it is usually caused by heartburn, or acid reflux. Many individuals with a hiatal hernia also have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. For them, their doctors may prescribe a treatment plan that is similar to the treatment for GERD.

For those individuals who don't have any symptoms, they don't require any treatment for their hiatal hernia. For others, lifestyle changes and medications will control their symptoms. It is only for a minority of patients who experience severe symptoms of reflux despite lifestyle changes and medications, or who develop complications such as stricture, bleeding or an obstruction, will surgery be considered.

The following are some of the treatment options for a hiatal hernia:

Medication, which include:

If surgery is needed:
    During hiatal hernia repair surgery, the stomach and lower esophagus are placed back into the abdominal cavity, and the hiatus (the opening in the diaphragm where the esophagus and stomach join) is tightened. The upper part of the stomach (fundus) may be wrapped around the esophagus (fundoplication) to reduce acid reflux.


Do you think you have a hiatal hernia? Take this screening quiz

Would you like to test your knowledge of hiatal hernias? Take this quiz and see how you score.


You may also like to check out the following resources:

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Heartburn / GERD
  4. Hiatal Hernias
  5. Options for Treating Hiatal Hernias

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