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Hiatus Hernia Specialist

Chicago Surgical Clinic -  - Surgery Center

Chicago Surgical Clinic

Surgery Clinic located in Arlington Heights, IL

If you have a hiatal hernia and symptoms that are not responding to medication or other conservative treatment, it may be time for surgery. The surgeons at Chicago Surgical Clinic in Arlington Heights, Illinois, are experts at using the most advanced technology available to provide minimally invasive surgery for hiatal hernia repair. Call the office or use online booking to schedule your appointment today.

Hiatus Hernia Q & A

What is a hiatal hernia?

There is a small opening known as the hiatus in your diaphragm that separates your abdomen and chest. Your esophagus, the tube that carries food from your throat into your stomach, passes through the hiatus. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach pushes up through the hiatus and bulges into your chest cavity.

What are the symptoms of a hiatus hernia?

You may not experience any symptoms with a small hiatal hernia. A larger hiatal hernia can cause symptoms such as:

  • Heartburn
  • Backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus (acid reflux)
  • Regurgitation/burping of food or liquids into the mouth
  • Other common symptoms of a larger hernia include:
  • Mild to severe chest and/or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Shortness of breath

The symptoms can be similar to those you would experience with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

How is a hiatal hernia different than GERD?

A hiatal hernia allows the stomach itself to move into your chest cavity. GERD is associated with the presence of stomach contents in your esophagus. It’s linked to weakness in the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is a bundle of muscles that normally act as a valve to prevent your stomach contents from backwashing or refluxing into your esophagus.

Both GERD and hiatal hernia can contribute to a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, which causes cellular changes in your lower esophageal lining. These changes are sometimes linked to esophageal cancer, which affects about one in every 300 individuals with Barrett’s esophagus.

What surgery is used to treat hiatal hernia?

The most common surgical treatment for hiatal hernia is fundoplication, which includes repair of the hernia and reinforcement of the LES. If you don’t have a hiatal hernia but are having problems with acid reflux that’s not responding to other treatment, the team at Chicago Surgical Clinic may recommend fundoplication as an anti-reflux surgery to repair and strengthen your LES.  

Fundoplication is most often performed laparoscopically via several very small incisions in your upper abdomen. Your Chicago Surgical Clinic surgeon performs the procedure via a small camera and surgical instruments inserted through the incisions. This eliminates the need for a long abdominal incision, which usually reduces the risks of post-surgical complications and speeds healing.

If you need surgery for a hiatal hernia or are having problems with treatment-resistant GERD, schedule a visit at Chicago Surgical Clinic online or by phone today.