Doctor insights on:
What Does A Hiatal Hernia Feel Like
Hiatal hernia: Most commonly patients with hiatal hernias will experience symptoms of reflux such as heartburn and regurgitation if they have any symptoms at all. The vast majority of hiatal hernias encountered are small asymptomatic hernias that require no intervention. Only those hernias that are symptomatic should be treated. If surgery is required, it usually can be done laparoscopically. ...Read more
Yes: Yes, swallowing a lot of air or consuming air containing beverages, for example carbonated sodas or water can fill up the stomach including the portion of stomach above the diaphragm when there is a hiatal hernia. This can result in pressure or fullness senastion in the chest and even shortness of breath. Excess swallowing of air aka as aerophagia can result from chewing gum, drinking a straw. ...Read more
Most asymptomatc: Most hiatal hernias are asymptomatic. When symptoms occur, they are usually reflux, burning and regurgitation. Large hhs can cause pain after eating, fullness, vomiting. Rarely hiatal hernias require emergent repair if they volvulize (twist). A volvulus could cause the the stomach to lose its blood supply and necrose (die). A surgeon can help evaluate a hh and determine if it needs repair. ...Read more
Common problem: Hiatal hernias in the u. S. May be as common as 1 in 3 people. A hiatal hernia is when the junction between esophagus and stomach slips up into tbe chest from its usual place in the belly. This causes the g-e junction to stop acting as a one way valve and stomach contents (food and acid) can back up into the esophagus and even the lungs. Acid reflux, aspiration pneumonia and food sticking occur. ...Read more
Hiatal hernia: Hiatal hernias do not go away with time. They either stay the same in size or get larger. You only need surgery if you have gerd/ heartburn that isn't controlled with medication. Also, if you have barrett's esophagus, that is an indication for surgery as well since that is a precancerous condition. ...Read more
Unclear: Many people with large hiatal hernias have no reflux, and many with reflux have no hiatal hernia. Reflux is probably mostly a functional problem related to excessive random openings of the valve between the stomach and esophagus called transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations. Hope this helps! ...Read more
"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. ...Read more
At what point does a hiatal hernia need repair? Is it worth getting done because I've met my insur deductible? Also have GERD controlled by meds.
Repair likely needed: Presence of hiatal hernia along with GERD symptoms is a good enough reason to get it repaired however decision to perform a surgical intervention depends on many factors including overall health, endoscopy findings and results of other investigations. A timely evaluation by a surgeon with experience in laparoscopic repair is a good idea. ...Read more
Does a hiatal hernia cause armpit pain and chest pain? I have had stress test and a lot of heart work and eveything came back good
Can cause chest pain: Hiatal hernis is a protrusion of the stomach into the chest. The stomach goes behind the heart. You can get gas trapping and pressure sensation in the chest but not usually the armpit. If a cardiac work up was negative would get GI workup. ...Read more
Does a hiatal hernia cause chest discomfort and shortness of breath at times. Have heart burn daily if I don't take Zantac (ranitidine)?
Hiatal surgery: If done laparoscopically usually not associated with major issues. Depends if it is a nissen fundoplication (full wrap) or a toilet (partial wrap) this is determined by manometry test and if the test is normal then can have full wrap. A condition called gastric bloat can occur if the wrap is to tight. Usually manifested as not being able to belch. This can be a problem needing surg. ...Read more
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. ...Read more
Stretched diaphragm: There is normally a hole in the diaphragm through which passes the esophagus. The diaphragm separates the abdominal and chest cavities, and the chest cavity is like a vacuum. When the normal opening stretches out and becomes large enough, the stomach gets "sucked" into the chest slowly. Why some get this and others don't is largely a mystery. ...Read more
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. ...Read more
Laparoscopic Surgery: A hiatal hernia is an enlargement of the normal hole in the diaphragm muscle thru which the esophagus passes to enter into the abdomen. A hiatal hernia may lead to gerd by virtue of the stomach yo-yo-ing up thru the hiatus into the chest. Surgical repair involves three key steps: return the stomach to the abdominal cavity, tighten the hole in the diaphragm, and create a new valve to rx reflux. ...Read more
X-RAY, Endoscopy, etc: A hiatal hernia is an enlargement of the hole in the diaphragm thru which the esophagus passes to enter the abdominal cavity. This commonly leads to the stomach "yo-yo-ing" up into the chest, which may cause gerd (reflux). This can be seen by ct scan and by upper endoscopy. ...Read more
C Gastroenterologist: If you are like most people, you are using "hiatal hernia" to mean gastroesophageal reflux disease (gerd). Proven rx include dietary changes, avoidance of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, wt loss, and acid-lowering meds. If your symptoms are bad at night, putting the head of the bed up on blocks helps, as does eating dinner early. If symptoms persist, it's best to see a GI dr (gastroenterologist). ...Read more
Doctor evaluation: The best "tests" are an evaluation and answering questions of possible symptoms by your doctor, such as food reflux into the throat, heartburn, feeling of food sticking when swallowed. Simple chest x-ray can be done, sometimes a ct scan, and likely best is a referral to a gastroenterologist for possible endoscopy procedure. ...Read more
Surgical repair: Not all hiatal hernias need to be repaired. The common type I hernia causes gerd, and is usually treated medically, but sometimes requires surgery because medecial therapy doesn't work. Type ii hernias usually require surgery if symptoms are present, because there is no effective medical therapy. Hiatal hernias are repaired laparoscopically, so most people tolerate surgery very well. ...Read more
Indirectly, at best.: A hiatal hernia, by definition, is an enlarged opening in the diaphragm muscle that separates the chest from abdominal cavity. It is often used interchangeably with gerd; while often both present, they are distinctly separate diseases. Exercise may indirectly help gerd by leading to weight loss but it will not improve the anatomical abnormality of a hiatal hernia. ...Read more
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