Understanding Hiatal Hernias
A hernia happens when part of your tissue, or an organ, squeezes into a part of the body where it doesn’t belong. Hernias are caused by excess pressure from things like heavy lifting, coughing, or a weakness in the area where the hernia forms. This bulge may be unnoticeable to you, or it can cause symptoms and need treatment. A hiatal hernia is a specific type of bulge that involves a part of the stomach coming out of its normal position, and forcing its way into the chest cavity. Most hernias are able to be repaired with a laparoscopic procedure, meaning we make tiny incisions instead of one large incision.
Danger of hiatal hernias
People who are over the age of 50, females, and those who are overweight are more likely to have a hiatal hernia. One issue with hiatal hernias is that they can lead to more acid reflux, and this chest pain can be confused with having a heart attack. It is safer to know if you have a hiatal hernia or not, to help a doctor diagnose any chest pain you have. The way we test for a hiatal hernia is with either an endoscope (thin tube that goes down your throat), or a specific type of x-ray.