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A 38-year-old member asked:

How does a hiatal hernia cause gerd?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 35 years experience
"Yo-Yo" stomach.: One mechanism that prevents reflux of food or acid from the stomach up the esophagus is the fact that the pressure within the abdominal cavity is higher than the pressure in the stomach. If the stomach "yo-yo's" into the chest cavity through a hiatal hernia, the negative pressure within the chest cavity changes this pressure gradient, favoring reflux.
Dr. Scott Grover
Surgery 27 years experience
Mechanics: The hiatus helps control reflux by placing pressure at the distal esophagus where it comes through the hiatus. When you have a hernia, this pressure is reduced which can now allow reflux to occur. The position can change with a hernia and this change of position can allow reflux as well.

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Similar questions

A 34-year-old member asked:

My infant has gerd, what is the chance that they have a hiatal hernia?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Family Medicine 20 years experience
Very Low: Although not impossible, an infant that is growing, developing well, and meeting milestones is highly unlikely to have a major GI problem, even with reflux. In fact most babies do have some degree of reflux, and rarely does medicine help with this - although it can help with the discomfort associated with reflux.
A 41-year-old member asked:

Could having surgery for my hiatal hernia also help my gerd?

3 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 35 years experience
Yes.: A hiatal hernia is an enlargement of the normal opening of the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes. Hiatal hernias may contribute to gerd but they are not synonymous: many people have hiatal hernias and no gerd, and vice-versa. There is an operation to treat gerd (fundoplication) but this is reserved for the minority of people who do not respond to medical management.
Last updated Feb 19, 2020


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