Hiatal hernias occur when part of the stomach extends up through the diaphragm and into your chest. This, in turn, causes severe cases of acid reflux or GERD symptoms that are intensely painful. While treatment typically starts with medication, it’s not always effective. If medication fails, then your doctor may recommend a hiatal hernia repair operation. That’s where we can help.
A hiatal hernia repair operation repairs the hernia by pulling your stomach back into the abdomen and then making the opening in the diaphragm smaller to prevent a repeat of the issue. In some cases, the procedure may also involve surgically removing hernia sacs or reconstructing the esophageal sphincter depending on the patient’s condition. These surgeries are typically reserved for only the most severe cases where other forms of treatment have been ineffective and the patient is experiencing intense symptoms, such as bleeding, ulcers, scarring, or narrowing of the esophagus.
In preparation for your surgery, it may surprise you when your doctor prescribes exercise. In the time leading up to the operation, you should routinely walk 2–3 miles per day, practice several breathing exercises throughout the day, and avoid smoking at least 4 weeks in advance. Finally, ensure you have not eaten or drank anything within 12 hours of your surgery.
Once the procedure is complete, a common side effect is feeling a tingling or burning sensation around the incision site. This is normal and will subside after a short period of time, but in the meantime, you will often be given medication to take with your meals. Other common medications, like Ibuprofen, can handle any further pain. As for your daily lifestyle, you’ll need to clean the site of the incision daily, but you shouldn’t submerge the incision in a bath or pool. Furthermore, your diet will be restricted to prevent your stomach from extending, meaning you may have 4–6 small meals in the day rather than the typical 3 full-size meals. As a major surgery, the time it takes to make a full recovery often averages to about 10–12 weeks, but you should be able to resume your normal lifestyle before the end of that 10–12-week period.
If your doctor recommends you seek out surgery to repair your hiatal hernia, we highly encourage you to look to us within the Las Vegas area. Not only are we proven experts with a history of service, but we commit to the comfort and health of our patients by spending more time innovating our procedures as well as simply giving our patients more time and attention than other clinics can afford.