Hiatus Hernia Surgery

Hiatus Hernia Surgery

When medications and lifestyle measures do not control the symptoms adequately, surgery to repair the hernia may be undertaken. Surgery may also be reasonable if you prefer not to use medication long term. In some instances of rolling hernia, even if the hernia is not causing severe symptoms, repair may be advised.

Surgery to repair hiatal hernia is usually a “keyhole” (laparoscopic) procedure that is generally well tolerated and recovery fairly rapid. Hospital stay may vary from 2-3 days and time off work 2-3 weeks. The aim of surgery is to bring the stomach back down into the abdomen and then close the hole in the diaphragm to prevent it sliding up again.

Usually a “fundoplication” is added to prevent reflux occurring. This involves using the top part of the stomach to “wrap” around the lower oesophagus (gullet) to recreate a valve and stop stomach content refluxing up into the oesophagus.

Surgery is generally safe with a low complication rate. Some risks include perforation of the oesophagus or stomach, bleeding or infection. Hernias may also recur. The operation may sometimes create side effects including some difficulty with swallowing and wind trapping in the abdomen causing bloat but most often these symptoms are mild and improve with time.

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