GERD and Hiatal Hernia FAQs
What is hiatal hernia?
Hiatal hernia is a condition in which the upper portion of the stomach which should lie in abdomen normally passes into the chest cavity. This type of hernia can also causes symptoms similar to GERD because the valve present between stomach and food pipe stops functioning properly.
If the hiatus hernia is very large or causes disturbing symptoms, patient might require surgical intervention. The main aim of surgery is to restore the stomach back into the normal position and performing fundoplication to prevent symptoms.
How is GERD and Hiatus Hernias inter related?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition which occurs when the food, liquid, and acid present in the stomach leaks back into the esophagus causing heartburn or nausea after meals.
In patients with hiatus hernia, due to malfunctioning of the valve present at junction of stomach and food pipe also leads to reflux of acidic contents into the oesophagus causing GERD symptoms.
It’s common for people with a hiatal hernia to have GERD. However, that doesn’t mean either condition always causes the other. You can have a hiatal hernia without GERD or GERD without a hernia.
How efffective is Nissen fundoplication surgery ?
Studies have shown that more than 90% of patients who undergo the procedure had their symptoms either cured or improved.Many patients whose GERD becomes refractory to medicines or are suffering from hiatus hernia whose cure is only surgery are the ideal candidates. Majority of the patients are immensely benefited after surgery.
How long is the stay in the hospital?
In most cases, patients can leave the hospital within 2 days of laparoscopic surgery. This compares with a 6 to 10 day stay following the traditional procedure.
When can the patient go back to work?
Most patients can resume their normal activities and can join back their work within a week of laparoscopic surgery. However, the patients are advised to avoid vigorous exercise and heavy lifting for 2 months to allow the hiatus to heal. Patients undergoing the traditional procedure usually resume normal activities in 6 to 8 weeks.
What are the advantages of the laparoscopic method?
By operating through 4 tiny openings instead of the traditional 6- to 10-inch incision, most laparoscopic patients experience less pain, less scarring, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery than patients undergoing the open procedure.