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Hiatal Hernia

Progressive Surgical Care

Colorectal Surgeons and General Surgeons located in Howard Beach, Queens & New Hyde Park, Long Island

Heartburn and gastric reflux can develop from many possible causes, but if you’re experiencing these symptoms and indigestion, it may be a sign that you have a hiatal hernia. The experienced surgical team at Progressive Surgical Care, with New York offices in Forest Hills, New Hyde Park, Long Island and Howard Beach, Queens, specializes in the management of all hernias, including hiatal hernias, and can provide the necessary treatment, including minimally invasive surgery, to resolve your symptoms. For an evaluation, call the office today.

Hiatal Hernia Q & A

What is a hiatal hernia?

A hiatal hernia occurs when a portion of your stomach pushes through the opening in your diaphragm, which is the muscle that separates your abdomen and chest, into your chest cavity. You may develop a hiatal hernia if the muscle that separates your stomach and chest is weak, injured or with a defect allowing the organ of the abdomen to push its way through. Common causes of this weakness include:

  • Age
  • Trauma or surgery in the area
  • Persistent pressure on the surrounding muscles, such as a chronic cough or constipation

You may also be born with a weakness in this area of the muscle, placing you at risk of developing a diaphragmatic hernia.

How do I know if I have a hiatal hernia?

The only way to know if you have a hiatal hernia is to have an evaluation. While hiatal hernias may not always cause symptoms, you may want to consider an evaluation if you’re experiencing:

  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation of the food you eat
  • Chest pain
  • Acid reflux
  • Shortness of breath
  • Episodes of vomiting blood
  • Black or tarry-looking stools

To determine the underlying cause of your symptoms, your specialist at Progressive Surgical Care reviews your symptoms and medical history and conducts a comprehensive evaluation. To confirm a diagnosis, your specialist may recommend an X-ray or an endoscopy.

What treatment do I need for my hiatal hernia?

Treatment for your hiatal hernia may depend on the severity of your symptoms. If you’re not experiencing any symptoms and your hiatal hernia is small, your specialist may take a wait-and-see approach. If you’re experiencing reflux symptoms, your specialist may prescribe disease-specific medication to ease your discomfort.

If your symptoms are affecting your quality of life or your hiatal hernia is large, your surgical specialist at Progressive Surgical Care can repair your hernia using laparoscopic or robotic surgery with the da Vinci® surgical system. Both minimally invasive procedures use small incisions, which means less pain for you and a faster recovery.

During surgical repair of your hiatal hernia, your specialist pulls your stomach through the weakened area of the muscle and then makes the opening in your diaphragm smaller to prevent a recurrence.

For an evaluation of your hiatal hernia, call Progressive Surgical Care today or request an appointment online.