Hiatal Hernia Repair
A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach bulges through the large muscle separating your abdomen and chest (diaphragm). Your diaphragm has a small opening (hiatus) through which your esophagus passes before connecting to your stomach. In a hiatal hernia, the stomach pushes up through that opening and into your chest.
Hiatal hernias can range from small – where just a little portion of the upper stomach is in the chest – to very large – where most of the stomach and even other organs can be in the chest. Regardless of the size, hiatal hernias are associated with GERD and are repaired as the first part of any anti-reflux operation.
In a hiatal hernia repair, the physician will use sutures to bring these muscles back together. In very large hernias, the repair is often reinforced with a biologic mesh material. This repair helps to reinforce the reflux barrier and prevent stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus. It is very common that a patient having an anti-reflux operation, like Nissen Fundoplication or LINX, will also have a hiatal hernia repair.