A hiatal hernia occurs through the diaphragm (or breathing muscle, which separate the chest from the abdomen) at the site where the esophagus (food pipe) normally goes through to attach to the stomach. In a hiatal hernia, the stomach bulges up into the chest through that opening. Patients with a hiatal hernia may have no symptoms. Often, however, patients have heartburn or GERD. Occasionally, patient can have chest pain.
Our surgeons will determine the type of hernia you have and decide if surgery is recommended. We perform laparoscopic, or “minimally invasive,” hiatal hernia repair surgery. This involves making five tiny (five millimeter) incisions through which a scope and surgical instruments are inserted. The hernia repair is frequently combined with an anti-reflux procedure (fundoplication). The advantages of laparoscopic surgery include smaller incisions, less risk of infection, less pain and scarring, and a more rapid recovery. Patients go home the same day or the following day.