Hiatal Hernia and Reflux Surgeon
What Is A Hernia?
A hernia is a condition in which part of an organ protrudes through the muscle wall. Common hernias include inguinal hernias (hernia in the groin), umbilical hernias (hernia at the belly button), ventral hernias (refers to hernias in the front of the abdomen), incisional hernias (hernias that are present from prior abdominal incisions), epigastric hernias (hernia in the upper middle of the abdomen), subxiphoid hernia (hernias just below the breast-bone), supra-pubic hernias (hernia just above the pubic bone), and lumbar hernias (hernias on the lateral abdomen, flank, and back).
Symptoms Of A Hernia
Hiatal hernias occur when some portion of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm and then into the area of the chest. This condition can cause some very noticeable and sometimes severe
symptoms of acid reflux
. In addition, some patients have
acid reflux symptoms
even without a hiatal hernia. A standard first step for treatment is to take medications designed to manage the acid reflux symptoms. If the first step is not successful, the doctor will most likely recommend
surgery for reflux and hiatal hernia
A hiatal hernia can be repaired by surgery when the stomach is pulled back into the abdomen to reduce the size of the opening in the diaphragm. Furthermore, it is also possible that the surgical procedure will involve the
removal of hernia sacs
reconstructing the esophageal sphincter muscle
to prevent further reflux.
It should be noted that not everyone with hiatal hernia needs surgery to have their issues corrected. In general, surgery is only indicated in cases where other treatments are ineffective. However, if the patient is experiencing dangerous hernia symptoms such as the following, hiatal hernia surgery may be the only reasonable alternative.
Narrowing of the esophagus
Formation of ulcers.
Upper abdominal/chest pain
Recurrent pneumonia from aspiration
Preparing for hiatal hernia surgery/acid reflux surgery
hiatal hernia surgery
, generally involves most of the following steps.
- Patients should walk at least two miles or possibly three each day.
- Patients should do some breathing exercises several times a day.
- Patients need to abstain from smoking at least a month before
hiatal hernia surgery.
- Patients are required to fast from food or drink at least 12 hours before undergoing surgery.
How hernia surgeries are performed
hiatal hernia surgeonuses a large abdominal incision into the abdomen to repair and return the stomach to its original position. The patient incurs a more painful and prolonged recovery with this type of procedure.
Robotic/laparoscopic repair (minimally invasive surgery)
The minimally invasive repair is the preferred procedure used to treat a hernia. Patients and
Top hiatal hernia surgeons
prefer minimally invasive
hiatal hernia and GERD surgery
over open surgery since it offers improved outcomes with decreased pain and faster recovery.
During the procedure the surgeon makes somewhere between three and five tiny incisions into the abdomen. Through one or more of these, the surgical instruments are passed and used to perform the surgery. Also, a tiny camera is inserted through one of the incisions, and it transmits images of the internal organs to a console in the operating room. Using this visual information, the surgeon pulls the stomach back into place in the abdomen. Then the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus to create a tighter sphincter to prevent acid reflux from occurring.
During the procedure the surgeon makes somewhere between three and five tiny incisions into the abdomen. Through one or more of these, the surgical instruments are passed and used to perform the surgery.
Also, a tiny camera is inserted through one of the incisions, and it transmits images of the internal organs to a console in the operating room. Using this visual information, the surgeon pulls the stomach back into place in the abdomen. Then the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus to create a tighter sphincter to prevent acid reflux from occurring.
Care following your hiatal hernia/acid reflux surgeon
Hiatal hernia/acid-reflux surgery
post-operative care involves several procedures that must be firmly adhered to. Patients should make sure to do each of these to boost their recovery. The most commonly-used post-operative care procedures are the following.
Taking specific medication
Regular wound care
Patients can expect to be put on a somewhat
restricted acid reflux diet
after the surgery to prevent the stomach from going through any unwanted expansion. Rather than eating three large meals per day, the patient is instructed to eat four and six small meals. Most people start on a liquid diet before moving on to solid soft foods, such as, mashed potatoes, Jell-O, soup, and scrambled eggs.
During the first week or two after the surgery, patients should avoid alcohol, citrus drinks, and tomato products that can irritate the stomach. Also, they should refrain from ingesting any carbonated beverage and gassy foods such as cabbage, corn, beans, or cauliflower. An additional precaution is to avoid drinking through a straw.
Postoperative breathing exercises
In most cases, the doctor advises the patient to perform
coughing and breathing exercises
to help fortify and strengthen the patient’s diaphragm and improve lung expansion. As a general rule, these exercises will need to be performed daily or following the doctor’s specific instructions.
robotic hiatal hernia surgeryis considered major surgery, complete recovery may take as long as 6 to 8 weeks. However, the patient will probably be able to resume your normal activities in far less time than that. Driving may be permitted the day after the surgery if the patient is not taking narcotics for pain relief. Patients should be able to resume work in about two weeks, if their job does not involve heavy lifting. Return to work may take as long as one to two months if the patient’s work involves heavy lifting.
The long-term outlook from hiatal hernia/acid-reflux surgery
After the recovery period has concluded, all symptoms of nausea, heartburn, and acid reflux should have diminished to the point where they are no longer noticeable. The doctor might still recommend that the patient should avoid foods that cause heartburn, or beverages that could be problematic. However, this method is usually regarded as a precautionary measure until the doctor is sure that the patient has fully recovered.
If the symptoms do return when drinking carbonated beverages or eating acidic foods, the patient may have to abstain from ingesting those types of food or drink. This technique prevents the return of acid reflux. As mentioned earlier, the success rate for performing
hiatal hernia/acid reflux surgery
is somewhere around 90%. Thus, the chances that patients will have a complete recovery, and not worry that the symptoms will return, is high.
The Best hernia Surgical Center in Meridian, MS
Medical Arts Surgical Group of Meridian, MS, offers patients some of the best surgeons in the country. We take pride in our ability to provide the most advanced surgical care and techniques. If you are would like to schedule and appointment, please contact our office.