A hiatal hernia occurs when the stomach bulges upward through an opening in the diaphragm intended for the esophagus to pass through as it connects to the stomach. Such hernias often have no symptoms, but may be a cause of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City offers leading treatment to resolve hiatal hernia.
Hiatal hernias are more commonly seen in women than men, and particularly affects those 50 and older and those who are overweight. It is possible to have a hiatal hernia without symptoms, but some signs can include heartburn or chest pain.
Hiatal hernia diagnosis and treatment
Endoscopy may be used to diagnose a hiatal hernia. Your doctor will use a small scope equipped with a light and camera to view your upper digestive system. If surgical correction is necessary, it is often laparoscopic, requiring only very small incisions and a short recovery period.