If you are looking for a hernia surgeon in the greater Dallas and Plano area, Dr. Malladi can provide the surgical expertise you need! Dr. Malladi is one of the most experienced hiatal hernia repair surgeons in Dallas and has helped countless patients recover.
What Is a Hiatal Hernia?
The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that divides the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity and helps in breathing. There is a natural hole in the diaphragm through with the esophagus (food tube) passes to connect the mouth which is above the chest to the stomach which is normally below the diaphragm.
A hiatal hernia occurs when this hole is loosened. Then, the esophagus can slide up and down through the hole, and the stomach which is in the abdominal cavity can partially slide up into the chest. There are a range of hiatal hernias from small sliding hernias to large paraesophageal hernias where some of the stomach and possibly other intra-abdominal organs herniate into the chest past the abdominal wall and get stuck there.
What Causes a Hiatal Hernia?
Genetics can play a part in a person having a predisposition to forming a hiatal hernia. Factors that increase intra-abdominal pressure can worsen a hiatal hernia. These factors include obesity, chronic cough, chronic constipation, vomiting, trauma, and heavy lifting. Smoking and increasing age cause and increased risk.
What are some of the symptoms of Hiatal Hernia?
Many patients are asymptomatic. Some patients, however, may experience a range of symptoms including acid reflux (backflow of acid from the stomach into the esophagus), chest discomfort, abdominal discomfort, belching, regurgitation of food and possibly a feeling that food or liquids are getting stuck when swallowing, feeling full quickly, abdominal pain. A Hiatal hernia may cause nausea and vomiting. Others may develop ulcers in the stomach where it is being pinched by the diaphragm and possibly lose blood which can lead to anemia.
If patients are having symptoms from their hiatal hernia, it may be necessary to repair it. Laparoscopic hiatal hernia surgery is available from Dr. Malladi, who is highly skilled in minimally invasive surgical techniques.
How do you diagnose a Hiatal Hernia?
Sometimes a very large hiatal hernia may be incidentally seen on a chest xray or CT scan for other purposes. One of the most common tests that will help diagnose and evaluate a hiatal hernia is a Barium Swallow (Upper GI study) which is a radiology procedure during which the patient swallows barium and xrays are taken to visualize the esophagus and stomach. Another hernia surgery test is the Upper Endoscopy during which Dr. Malladi places a thin flexible camera into the esophagus and stomach.
Some of the symptoms from a hiatal hernia may be treated with lifestyle changes and medications; however, the hiatal hernia itself can only be repaired through surgery. The surgery is performed laparoscopically (see section on Minimally Invasive Approach) in which the entire operation is performed with small incisions under video visualization.
During the hernia repair operation, Dr. Malladi will bring the stomach (and any other organs) back into the abdominal cavity and will repair and narrow the hole in the diaphragm with stitches. This repair is usually accompanied with a Nissen fundoplication (see section on Nissen fundoplication).
For an evaluation of your hiatal hernia and to see if you are a candidate for laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair in the greater Dallas and Plano area, please contact Dr. Malladi today.