What Is A Hiatal Hernia?

A hernia occurs when a part of the body bulges into an area where it is not supposed to be. In a hiatal hernia, parts of or all of the stomach bulges into the chest cavity via the hiatus (an opening in the diaphragm). Though most hiatal hernias are harmless, some hiatal hernias can cause constriction around the stomach, cutting off blood supply to the stomach, which can be dangerous. Symptoms of these more dangerous hernias include chest pains, trouble swallowing food and liquids, and various digestive issues.

What Is The Treatment?

Patients are recommended to receive surgery for hiatal hernias that present complications. During hiatal surgery, a laparoscope (a small, fiber optic instrument attached to a camera) is inserted into the abdomen through small incisions in the skin along with other specialized instruments. Using a liver retractor, the liver is carefully moved to reveal the stomach, diaphragm, and the hernia. Using these tools, surgeons will pull the herniated stomach back in place.

What Steps Are Taken During The Procedure?

The stomach, as well as the esophagus is carefully separated from the diaphragm. The aorta (the heart’s main artery) and the Vagus nerve are exposed when the esophagus is detached from the diaphragm, and the surgeon will carefully work around them so as to not cause vital damage to the body. With the esophagus and stomach detached from the diaphragm, the surgeon will tighten the hiatus, using sutures to bring the loose sides of the hiatus together.

The hiatus is made small enough for the esophagus to pass through. The sutures are reinforced using a biological material that will grow into the body, creating a strong bond. The surgeon will then wrap the upper part of the stomach around the esophagus. The surgeon uses sutures to attach the two sides of the upper stomach to each other, and then sutures the stomach to the esophagus to create a strong hold. Attaching the stomach to the esophagus will reduce the probability of future hiatal herniation.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Robotic Technology?

With the help of robotic technology, such as laparoscopy, surgeons can repair hernias using minimally invasive techniques. Because laparoscopy does not require large incisions, patients are less likely to get an infection after surgery and their recovery time is shortened.


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