A hiatal hernia appears when part of the stomach protrudes abnormally into the chest, causing reflux, chest pain, hoarseness and other symptoms. This cause of this condition is unknown, but may be triggered by any other condition that increases abdominal pressure. If left untreated, the stomach and other organs can bulge into the chest. While small hernias can often be treated with H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors, many require surgery to relieve symptoms for the patient.
Laparoscopic paraesophageal hernia repair is a minimally invasive procedure that restores the affected area back into its normal location in the abdomen, and repairs the diaphragm with sutures. The muscles of the abdominal wall are also strengthened to prevent hernias from occurring in the future. If the patient is experiencing severe reflux, part of the stomach may be wrapped around the esophagus to prevent these symptoms from continuing.
While this procedure can be performed through an open incision, laparoscopy offers the advantages of smaller incisions and imaging guidance to achieve effective results with less scarring and bleeding. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia and most patients can return home after an overnight hospital stay. It is considered safe for most patients with a hiatal hernia and carries a minimal risk of bleeding, infection and other mild side effects.