What is a hiatus hernia

A hiatus hernia is when the stomach passes through the diaphragm and into the chest. They are fairly common and small hiatal hernias are often asymptomatic causing no symptoms at all. Larger hiatal hernias can cause reflux, regurgitation, early satiety (feeling full quickly),

What are the causes of a hiatus hernia

The exact causes are unknown but is due to weakness in the diaphragm. Coughing and vomiting, excess straining and lifting heavy objects may contribute. Risk can also be increased by being overweight, smoking and getting older.

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What are the symptoms of a hiatus hernia

Symptoms will vary deepening on the size of the hernia with most being asymptomatic.

Symptoms include

Reflux/heartburn, regurgitation, dysphagia (difficulty wallowing), cough, upper abdominal pain, chest pain


Tests include an upper GI endoscopy and then may follow on with a barium swallow and oesophageal manometry


Deepening on symptoms treatment may include medications for acid reflux. Surgery may be required if medication is not working or the hernia is at a significant size that may cause problems.
Surgery involves repairing the hiatus hernia and a wrap around the lower part of the oesophagus the stomach

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