Hiatal Hernia Surgery Side Effects

Hiatal Hernia Surgery Side Effects

A hiatal hernia is a condition in which a part of the stomach slips through or is pushed through an opening in the diaphragm, the part of the body that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen. In many cases, the condition produces no symptoms, although some people do experience discomfort regularly from acid reflux for various reasons. The majority of the time, surgery is not necessary to repair the hiatal hernia, but some people elect to have the condition repaired if symptoms are persistent or are not managed well by medicinal, lifestyle or natural methods. Hiatal hernia repair surgery is not for everyone, however, and while it may provide some symptom relief, there are some things for people considering it to think about. For instance, hiatal hernia surgery side effects as well as the risks that are present during any surgical procedure.

Before a healthcare provider will consider a surgical procedure to remedy a hiatal hernia, they will exhaust all other types of treatment in order to alleviate symptoms. Most of the time, medications are used. While they come with their own problems, hiatal hernia surgery side effects may prove more of a concern than those from medications like proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor blockers which may cause headaches and nausea. These hiatal hernia medications do not treat the hernia itself; rather they treat the symptoms that come along with it, which are almost always attributable to a backup of stomach acid, known as acid reflux. These symptoms are more common in persons with a hiatal hernia because the sphincter that keeps acid out of the esophagus may become displaced when a hernia is present, allowing harmful acid to backup where it does not belong.

This back up of acid is what leads to the most common symptoms of a hiatal hernia. The stomach is lined to protect itself from harmful digestive acids, and the esophagus is not. When the acid enters the delicate esophagus, it can lead to painful burning caused from irritation and inflammation. Aside from pain and discomfort, coughing, belching, hiccupping and difficulty swallowing may also be present. Aside from using medications to alleviate symptoms, affected individuals wary of hiatal hernia surgery side effects can also consider lifestyle changes such as those affecting the diet, using herbal remedies, increasing physical activity and alternative treatments like acupuncture instead.

When these symptom relief attempts prove unsuccessful, surgery for hiatal hernia repair may be considered. There is more than one type of procedure available, and they each come with their own potential hiatal hernia surgery side effects to consider based on how invasive they are. The most invasive type is an open repair, and one large incision is required in this case and a tube is inserted. This tube remains for about a week following the procedure. Alternatively, laparoscopic procedures are less invasive, and require only a few small cuts in the belly and the surgeon performs their repair with cameras and specialized tools. Lastly, a newer procedure that may reduce the risk of hiatal hernia surgery side effects does exist that is called endoluminal fundoplication. In this type of surgery for hiatal hernia repair, the mouth and esophagus, rather than cuts, serve as the entry point for the camera and tools that a surgeon will use in the procedure. However, this type of surgery is not available to everyone, and although less invasive, it still carries its own hiatal hernia surgery risks.

Regardless of procedure type, the ultimate goal of the surgeon is to replace the stomach where it belongs and repair the opening in the diaphragm by tightening it to ensure that the stomach does not slip back through it. The stomach is also stapled to the esophagus in order to further keep it in place. This is meant to reduce the risk of reflux related symptoms by keeping the stomach positioned in such a way that the acid is not able to back up as freely. Once the repairs are made, hiatal hernia surgery recovery can begin, and how long the process takes depends on the type of procedure performed and whether or not complications or hiatal hernia surgery side effects are apparent.

Standard side effects include those that are inherent risks with any type of surgery, including problems with anesthesia such as pneumonia or problems breathing, as well as negative reactions to the anesthesia or heart problems. In addition, specific hiatal hernia surgery side effects include damage to digestive organs like the colon, stomach or esophagus. Additionally, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), is not uncommon amongst persons who have undergone surgery to repair a hiatal hernia, although it commonly resolves a few days following the procedure. Bloating from the gases used during the operation is also not unheard of as an after effect. However, one of the biggest hiatal hernia surgery side effects is the knowledge that the condition can recur.

Many surgeries to repair a hiatal hernia are voluntary and are a result of failed management of the common condition. However, it is important to remember that there are some cases where the procedure is not optional and the risk of hiatal hernia surgery side effects is far less important than the risks associated with leaving the condition untreated, although this is rare. It most often occurs as a result of a strangulated hiatal hernia, or one that is at risk of becoming strangulated. These types of hernias are a serious medical threat and require immediate treatment that almost always involves surgery. However, in most cases, these surgical procedures are incredibly successful at eliminating the symptoms that can come along with a hiatal hernia when every other conventional treatment option has been attempted without success.