A hiatal hernia is often discovered during a test or procedure to determine the cause of heartburn or chest or upper abdominal pain. These tests or procedures include:
Sometimes a hiatal hernia requires surgery. Surgery is generally used for people who aren't helped by medications to relieve heartburn and acid reflux or have complications such as severe inflammation or narrowing of the esophagus.
Surgery to repair a hiatal hernia may involve pulling your stomach down into your abdomen and making the opening in your diaphragm smaller or reconstructing an esophageal sphincter. In some cases, hiatal hernia surgery is combined with weight-loss surgery, such as a sleeve gastrectomy. However, based on your insurance, there may be additional out-of-pocket expenses associated with adding weight-loss surgery.
Surgery may be performed using a single incision in your chest wall (thoracotomy) or using a minimally invasive technique called laparoscopy. In laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon inserts a tiny camera and special surgical tools through several small incisions in your abdomen. The operation is then performed while your surgeon views images from inside your body that are displayed on a video monitor.
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