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Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal hernia (often referred to as hiatus hernia) is the protrusion (or hernia) of the upper part of the stomach into the thorax through a tear or weakness in the diaphragm. Symptoms may begin as reflux and dysphagia, but over time the acid returning moving up the esophagus may create a life threatening situation if not treated.

The following are possible causes or contributing factors for having an hiatal hernia:

  • obesity
  • poor posture when sitting
  • coughing frequently
  • constipation with strain upon deffication
  • frequent bending over or heavy lifting
  • heredity
  • smoking
  • congenital defects
hiatal hernia symptoms include
  • reflux
  • acidic taste in the mouth
  • sore throat with sores in the mouth ( in severe cases )
  • pains similar to heartburn, located in the chest and upper stomach. The sensation is of a burning pain in the chest moving upward towards the mouth.

Hiatal hernias affect anywhere from 1 to 20% of the population. Ninety five percent of these reported cases are "sliding" hiatal hernias, in which the LES protrudes above the diaphragm along with the stomach, and only 5% are the "rolling" type, in which the LES remains stationary but the stomach protrudes above the diaphragm.

Besides discomfort from reflux and dysphagia, hiatal hernias can have severe consequences for patients if not treated. While sliding hernias are primarily associated with gastro-esophageal acid reflux (GERD), rolling hernias can strangulate a portion of the stomach above the diaphragm. This strangulation can result in esophageal or GI tract obstruction and even become ischemic and necrotic.

Disclaimer: Information shared in this section is indicative. Please do not make any conclusion and we strongly recommend you to consult with your Doctor. Symptoms may vary with individual, geography, climate and lifestyle