Protrusion of intra-abdominal contents through an enlarged oesophageal hiatus of the diaphragm.
Risk factors include obesity, increased intra-abdominal pressure from various conditions, and a previous hiatal operation.
May be asymptomatic or may present with heartburn, dysphagia, odynophagia, hoarseness, asthma, shortness of breath, chest pain, anaemia or haematemesis, or some combination of these.
Contrasted upper GI series (also known as an upper GI or as a barium oesophagram) is the key investigation.
Treatment depends on the patient's symptoms and the anatomical configuration of the hernia.
Uncomplicated sliding hiatal hernias are treated symptomatically with medical therapy, although some patients may select surgical therapy. Complicated hiatal hernias (those with bleeding, volvulus, or obstruction) have a stronger indication for surgical repair.
Complications include obstruction, bleeding, volvulus with and without strangulation or necrosis, and Barrett's oesophagus.
Hiatal hernia is the protrusion of intra-abdominal contents through an enlarged oesophageal hiatus of the diaphragm. A hiatal hernia most commonly contains a variable portion of the stomach; less commonly, it may contain transverse colon, omentum, small bowel, or spleen, or some combination of these organs. The herniated contents are usually contained within a sac of peritoneum.
Chicago Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery
Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Bariatric Fellowship Program
St. Francis Hospital
CTF declares that he has no competing interests.
Surgery Residency Associate Director
Rush University Medical Center
MBL declares that he has no competing interests.
Dr Constantine T. Frantzides and Dr Minh B. Luu would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Mark A. Carlson, a previous contributor to this monograph. MAC declares that he has no competing interests.
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