A paraesophageal hernia occurs when part of the stomach emerges through the hiatus – the opening in the diaphragm the esophagus passes through – and shifts up through the esophagus. The stomach is at risk of becoming strangled, or losing blood supply. The care team at The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City offers leading solutions to resolve this condition, often in a minimally invasive manner.
Paraesophageal hernia symptoms
Paraesophageal hernia may occur without symptoms. But, if symptoms emerge, especially those causing pain, surgery may be necessary to correct the paraesophageal hernia, moving the protruding part of the stomach back to its proper location. Symptoms that warrant a visit to your doctor include:
- Heartburn or other chest pain (if significant, seek emergency care)
- Upper abdominal pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Inability to have a bowel movement
Paraesophageal hernia surgery
Surgical repair is usually laparoscopic, meaning it is minimally invasive and requires just a few very small incisions. During the procedure, the stomach is moved to its normal location and the hiatus – the opening in the diaphragm – is secured to prevent the stomach from shifting again. A fundoplication may be performed. This entails wrapping the top of the stomach around the bottom of the esophagus to prevent movement.