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A 38-year-old member asked:

What is hiatal hernia?

10 doctor answers19 doctors weighed in
Dr. Matthew Lublin
Surgery 26 years experience
Hernia in diaphragm: A hiatal hernia is a hernia in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle separating your chest from your abdomen. There is a natural hole where your esophagus passes through from your chest into your abdmoen. If the hole enlarges, the stomach can come up through the hole and into your chest. This is a hiatal hernia.
Dr. Jon King
Dr. Jon Kinganswered
General Surgery 30 years experience
A hole in diaphragm: A hiatal hernia is when a part of the stomach comes up through a hole in the diaphragm into the chest. The diaphragm is a thin muscle that helps us breath and separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. The most common type of hiatal hernia can cause reflux or heartburn. This is treated with medication and sometimes laparoscopic or endoscopic surgery.
Dr. Gregory Ginn
General Surgery 37 years experience
Hiatal hernia: A hiatal hernia is a laxity or defect of the diaphragm where the esophagus travels through the back of the chest into the abdominal cavity and your stomach. Some patients have heartburn associated with hiatal hernias while some do not.
Dr. Michael Sawyer
General Surgery 37 years experience
See below: The esophageal hiatus is an anatomical feature traversed by the esophagus on its way from the chest to the abdomen. When muscles and ligaments that define the boundaries of the hiatus weaken or become lax, the upper stomach may transiently or permanently reside in the chest. This is a hiatal hernia. Uncommonly, the entire stomach or other organs (colon, small bowel, spleen) may herniate as well.
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 35 years experience
Hole in diaphragm: The diaphragm is the muscle that separates the chest- from the abdominal cavity. Many structures have to go thru the diaphragm in order to enter into the abdominal cavity, including the esophagus, the aorta, and the vena cava. The hiatus is the hole in the diaphragm thru which the esophagus passes. This can enlarge, allowing the stomach to "yo-yo" up into the chest: this is called a hiatal hernia.
Dr. Scott Grover
Surgery 27 years experience
Enlarged hiatus: A hiatal hernia is a hernia through the diaphragm. The natural opening where the esophagus comes through the diaphragm enlarges. Sometimes it gets big enough that a significant amount of stomach can get through the hole into the chest. This may or may not be related to reflux disease, which is the most common symptom associated with hiatal hernias.
Dr. Michael Sawyer
General Surgery 37 years experience
See below: The esophageal hiatus is an anatomical feature traversed by the esophagus on its way from the chest to the abdomen. When muscles and ligaments that define the boundaries of the hiatus weaken or become lax, the upper stomach may transiently or permanently reside in the chest. This is a hiatal hernia. Uncommonly, the entire stomach or other organs (colon, small bowel, spleen) may herniate as well.
Dr. Brett Kalmowitz
Gastroenterology 23 years experience
Sliding stomach: A hiatal hernia is not uncommon. The simplest type occurs when the stomach slides up and down across the diaphragm into the chest cavity (thoracic space). This is not like other hernias that you hear about and typically does not need surgical therapy although it may exacerbate reflux and may require medications to control acid production in the stomach. There are other less common types as well.
Dr. Joseph Sucher
Trauma Surgery 27 years experience
Diaphragm Hernia: Hiatal hernia is a defect through the diaphragm (muscle separating chest from abdomen). The most common is a simple hernia of part of the stomach into the chest, resulting in reflux symptoms (heart burn). It can be more complex and involve the entire stomach or even the colon and/or the spleen.
Dr. David Earle
General Surgery 32 years experience
Common: This is very common, and usually does not require surgery. It can be repaired as part of an anti-reflux operation, or if it is large, can be repaired to prevent it from getting worse. Very uncommon to have a large hiatal hernia in your 30's . Hope this helps!

Similar questions

Cincinnati, OH
A 59-year-old male asked:

What can be done about a hiatal hernia?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tom Harrington
Internal Medicine 43 years experience
Hiatal hernia: Hiatal hernias are are very common and often without any symptoms at all. It is not like a groin hernia that one worries about stragulation or need for surgery. Often associated symptoms are reflux which is really caused by a weakened lower esophageal sphincter and not the hernia---ie hearburn, indigestion etc.
Albania
A 18-year-old female asked:

Hiatal hernia how can I cure it ?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Cohen
Internal Medicine 43 years experience
Treat reflux: Don't need to cure it. If you have acid refux symptoms like heartburn their are medications you can take to relieve yor discomfort.
A 41-year-old member asked:

What is hernia hiatal?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Uyeda
General Surgery 46 years experience
Hiatal hernia: Is a defect in the diagphragm, which separates the chest from the abdominal cavities. Most are the sliding type, which does not require surgery most of the time. But some are paraesophageal type, which require surgery in order to prevent strangulation, a devastating complication. Consult a surgeon for specific advice about your case.
CA
A 32-year-old male asked:

What are the symptoms of Hiatal hernia?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine 42 years experience
The symptoms of Hiatal hernia include:: Chest pain, Chills, Confusion, Cough, Difficulty swallowing, Fever, Heartburn, Pain when swallowing, Regurgitation, Difficulty breathing, Vomiting, Vomiting blood, Wheezing.
A 34-year-old member asked:

What causes a hiatal hernia?

5 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 35 years experience
Unknown: The hiatus is the normal hole in the diaphragm muscle thru which the esophagus passes to go from the chest to the abdominal cavity. A hiatal hernia is an enlargement of this opening thru which the stomach can slip up into the chest. This is found in 15% of people & rarely causes symptoms. It is unclear if this develops before birth and/or develops in response to elevated abdominal pressure.

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Last updated Oct 22, 2020

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