What is Hiatal Hernia?
Hernia is the condition in which an internal part of the body encroaches on to the surrounding area. The hiatus is the opening in the muscular wall (diaphragm) which separates the abdominal cavity from the chest cavity. In normal condition the diaphragm has a single opening for the food pipe (esophagus) to pass through the chest cavity into the stomach.
When hiatal hernia develops the stomach tends to bulge upwards into the area of the chest cavity through the esophageal opening in the diaphragm.
What are the types of Hiatal Hernia?
There are two different types of hiatal hernia
- Sliding Hiatal Hernia – This is the most common type of hiatal hernia and is caused when the stomach and a part of the food pipe (esophagus) connecting the stomach tend to bulge up into the chest cavity through the hiatus.
- Para-esophageal Hernia – This is less common comparatively but is more severe in form. It causes a section of the stomach to bulge up from the hiatus at the side of the esophagus. This results in the constriction of the esophagus as well as deficiency in blood supply to the stomach.
What are the signs and symptoms of Hiatal Hernia?
Most people with hiatal hernia may not experience any significant symptoms. Others tend to experience a sensation similar to heartburn which is often related to GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease).
What are the causes of Hiatal Hernia?
Most times the exact cause for the development of hiatal hernia is not known. However, a person may have hiatal hernia as a congenital (birth) defect which results in an abnormally large hiatal opening in the diaphragm. This can result in the stomach to easily push through the abdomen due to a variety of reasons such as obesity, pregnancy, straining during bowel functions or even coughing frequently.
How is Hiatal Hernia diagnosed?
Hiatal hernia affects the soft tissues such as the hiatal opening in the diaphragm and the stomach hence diagnostic imaging tests such as special x-ray test using contrast dye are mostly used to check for abnormality in the hiatal opening.
There is also a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure which is performed with the help of an endoscope to see real-time high-definition video on a monitor and check for hernia in the hiatus.
How are Hiatal Hernia treated?
Mostly, a person suffering from hiatal hernia may not experience any form of symptom hence treatment is not necessary in such cases. Although if the person is suffering from para-esophageal hernia then the best form of treatment is surgery as the bulging portion of the stomach tends to strangle the esophagus in the hiatus.
Surgery is most often recommended by the doctors when the hiatal hernia carries the risk of strangulating (constricting) the food pipe (esophagus). Surgery is aimed at pushing the herniated portion of the stomach into its natural position.
Mostly the hiatal hernia surgery is performed using minimally invasive laparoscopic methods. This surgery requires making very small (2-3 mm) incisions in the abdomen. The laparoscope is a thin and flexible surgical tube which is fitted with a cold light-source and a high-definition video camera on one end. The surgeon will insert this laparoscope from one incision and guide it gently to the hernia site. The laparoscope allows the surgeon to view the hernia site in detail on the video monitor.
Other small special surgical instruments are attached to similar surgical tubes which are then inserted from the other incisions and used to push the herniated stomach portion back into its normal position.
The minimally invasive surgical method for hiatal hernia using laparoscope is advantageous over the conventional open-type of surgery as it is less invasive it requires smaller incisions, causes less scarring and lesser pain and carries smaller risk of infections as well. All these factors combine in allowing for recovery in a significantly shorter period of time.
Why choose Travcure for Hiatal Hernia treatment in India?
Travcure is the leading medical tourism service provider in India. It is connected to the most advanced and high-standard hospitals and clinics across all major cities of the country. Travcure offers every patient with the most convenient and affordable treatment package for hiatal hernia in India at the most top-class hospitals and clinics.