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Hiatal Hernia

What Is a Hiatal Hernia?

The hiatus is a small opening in the diaphragm that allows food to pass from the esophagus to the stomach. Sometimes, the upper part of the stomach pushes through the hiatus into your chest. This is called a hiatal hernia.

A hiatal hernia can be caused by several conditions, including:

  • The natural aging process

  • Injury to the chest

  • A larger than normal hiatus

  • Regular pressure around the muscles from persistent coughing, vomiting or exercising

Symptoms

Sometimes, there are no symptoms from a hiatal hernia. Severe hernia may cause symptoms such as:

Treatment Options

If you think you have a hiatal hernia and are experiencing symptoms, a gastroenterologist can help. Your provider will work closely with you to understand the underlying cause of the hernia and develop a treatment plan that helps you manage side effects. Treatment options may include:

  • Medication – There are many medications that can help relieve heartburn and indigestion. Your doctor may recommend antacids, which block acid production and help heal the esophagus.

  • Surgery – Some hiatal hernias need surgery. Your gastroenterologist will discuss if surgery is right for you and which procedure will address the hernia and heal your esophagus.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of hiatal hernia, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat hiatal hernia.

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