Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Hernia Forum

Large Hiatal Hernia treatment

I just had an Endoscopy and Colonoscopy and they found a large Hiatal Hernia. It is causing chest pain, heartburn, gerd, upset stomachs and no sleep. Feel like I had a golf ball in my throat. I have been on all kinds of meds and can't take this anymore! What are some options for me? Will surgery help or is there risk?
Did you find this post helpful?
|

User Profile
replied December 20th, 2008
Community Volunteer
What did your doctor suggest?

My hiatal hernia was giving me fits (didn't realize I had one until I had a scope however I had symptoms but I didn't realize it was a hernia). He suggested that I lose some weight and I did and now I have no issue. Lost 30 pounds. That was maybe 6 years ago.

Extra weight can actually makes a hiatal hernia worse. I'm not saying you need to lose weight, just personal experience.

I'm unsure about surgery, suppose it depends on your overall health and age.

~Zig
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 20th, 2008
Hi Zig
Hi Zig! Pleasure to meet you! They did the endoscopy and colonoscopy yesterday. Ohh my gosh! When they were doing the colonoscopy I woke up from the anesthesia and was screaming in pain. They had to resedate me! I remember waking up and did remember what happened. It was painful! He did a biopsy and just told me and my husband I had a large hiatal hernia but did not say anything else. Told me he would discuss everything when the biopsies come back. Hiatal hernias run in my family. 4 of us have one but mine is larger than the other family members. I think I got mine from lifting alot. Plus I have asthma and I think that makes it worse. I feel it and it hurts all the time. Get cramps in that area and always feel like i am choking. I'm tired of being miserable. Was wondering if surgery would make it better and how will I feel after the surgery. What to expect@ Nice meeting you
10KittyCats
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied December 20th, 2008
Community Volunteer
Nice to meet you as well. (do you have numerous cats?) Smile

You know I honestly forget that my husband had his hiatal hernia repaired years ago...it was a fairly new procedure. It is explained towards the end...he still has 5 small scars where the incisions were made but he is so glad he had it done.

Here's additional info:

A hernia is the pressing of an organ through an abdominal opening in the muscle wall of the cavity that protects it. With a hiatal hernia, a portion of the stomach pushes through a teardrop-shaped hole where the esophagus and the stomach join.

The most common cause of a hiatal hernia is an increase in pressure on the abdominal cavity. Pressure can come from coughing, vomiting, straining during a bowel movement, heavy lifting, or physical strain. Pregnancy, obesity, or excess fluid in the abdomen also contribute to hiatal hernias.

A hiatal hernia can develop in people of all ages and both sexes, although it frequently affects middle-aged people. In fact, the majority of otherwise healthy people over age 50 have small hiatal hernias.

Many people with a hiatal hernia never have any symptoms at all. In some people, acid and digestive juices escape from the stomach into the esophagus (gastroesophageal reflux). This causes:

heartburn
bitter or sour taste in the back of the throat
bloating and belching
discomfort or pain in the stomach or esophagus
Most hiatal hernias do not cause problems and rarely need treatment.

Successful treatment of hiatal hernias usually involves treating the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that are triggered by the additional pressure in the abdomen.

Treatment includes making lifestyle changes, such as:

Losing weight if you are overweight, and maintaining a healthy weight
Having a common sense approach to eating, such as eating moderate to small portions of foods; and limiting fatty foods, acidic foods (such as tomatoes and citrus fruits or juices), foods containing caffeine, and alcoholic beverages
Eating meals at least 3-4 hours before lying down, and avoiding bedtime snacks
Elevating the head of your bed by 6 inches (this helps allow gravity to keep the stomach's contents in the stomach)
Not smoking
Taking medications, such as over-the-counter antacids, Gaviscon, or H2 blockers (such as Pepcid AC or Zantac).
Note: If you take over-the-counter medications for longer than two weeks without any improvement, see your physician. Your physician can prescribe a stronger medication, and/or pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex), esomeprazole (Nexium), H2-receptor antagonists, proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole [Prilosec], lansoprazole [Prevacid]).

If medications are not effective in treating your symptoms, diagnostic tests may be performed to determine if surgery is necessary. Surgery is rarely needed to correct the disorder.

To treat a hiatal hernia, your doctor might first recommend the following management techniques:

Taking medications after eating to reduce acid in the stomach
Decreasing the size of portions during meals
Losing weight, if overweight
Quitting smoking
Avoiding certain acidic foods that irritate the esophageal lining
Avoiding caffeine (including chocolate), alcohol, nicotine, and fatty foods
Sitting up during meals and not bending over, lying down, or going to bed for 2 to 3 hours after eating
Elevating the head of the bed 6 inches while sleeping
People with a hiatal hernia who also have severe, chronic esophageal reflux may need surgery to correct the problem if their symptoms are not relieved through these management techniques.

Surgery may also be needed to reduce the size of the hernia if it is in danger of becoming constricted or strangulated (so that the blood supply is cut off).

During surgery, gastroesophageal reflux is corrected by pulling the hiatal hernia back into the abdomen and creating an improved valve mechanism at the bottom of the esophagus. The surgeon wraps the upper part of the stomach (called the fundus) around the lower portion of the esophagus. This creates a permanently tight sphincter so that food will not reflux back into the esophagus.

Hiatal hernia surgery can be performed as a laparoscopic or "minimally invasive" procedure. During laparoscopic surgery, five or six small (5 to 10 millimeter) incisions are made in the abdomen. The laparoscope and surgical instruments are inserted through these incisions. The surgeon is guided by the laparoscope, which transmits a picture of the internal organs on a monitor. The advantages of laparoscopic surgery include smaller incisions, less risk of infection, less pain and scarring, and a more rapid recovery.

~Zig
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 20th, 2008
Thank-you Zig
Thank-you Zig! That was very useful information. About the cats! I have 10 of them. All are fixed except 1 and she is still a baby. My husband and I for some reason get these stray kittens that seem to find our house. LOL! I just found a baby a few months ago that was not even 2 weeks old that the mother abandoned. Had to bottle feed her. Now she thinks I am her mommy! We have a building in the back of our house that we fixed for them. It has heat and AC. Each week 3 of them get to come in the house and they love it! All are spoiled rotten. But the vet bills are high! We average $150.00 a month feeding them. And that's not including the vet bill.
This hernia has been giving me a fit in the past year. I get chest pain, back pain abdominal pain, heartburn that is horrible, vomiting, gerd. You name it! I finally had to go see a doctor for it. At first it didn't really bother me. Now it is bothering me. I feel like I am getting strangled all the time. Choke alot on my food and I do cough alot from my asthma. Thanks for all the great info. Was a bit scared about having surgery but think I will talk to my doctor and see what can get done. Nice meeting you and I will be around again!
Sincerely,
10 Kitty's
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 22nd, 2011
Enlarge esophagus for strangulation sensation when eating
You may want to ask if your doctor can give you an endoscopy and enlarge the esophagus with balloons - I had this done to me today - I have a large hiatal hernia - the dr. thought I might have Shatskie's ring - but no - a large hiatal hernia - the dr. opted to enlarge my esophagus just in case because of the feeling of food getting stuck//not being able to eat solid foods/meals that I've had. Will have to do very small meals - more like healthy snacks - six times a day as opposed to meals from now on.

Good luck --- Best Wishes,

Linda
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied December 20th, 2008
Community Volunteer
You may want to contact your doctor about the strangling sensation. That would scare me something terrible.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. And stray cats find us too.

~Zig
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 20th, 2008
Hi Zig
If I am not better by tomorrow I will be calling him. During the endoscopy they stretched the esophagus and that might be why I feel I am choking. It is scary and have had many nights feeling this way. That colonoscopy was scary! I had one before and was out and never felt a thing. When I came to it was painful. I have never had any experience like that before. The medication wore off and just about killed me! Bad thing is me remembering it! LOL! Well I better get myself to bed. Getting late here in my area! Hope to chat with you again!
Good night my new friend!
10 Kittys
|