Paraesophageal Hiatal Hernias

Even though you may not experience any pain with a paraesophageal hiatal hernia, treatment may become necessary to prevent complications. Mount Sinai surgeons are skilled in surgical techniques to repair hiatal hernias, including minimally invasive methods.

About Paraesophageal Hiatal Hernias

A paraesophageal hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach protrudes up through an opening in the diaphragm (called the hiatus) into the chest. Although many people with this type of hernia don’t notice symptoms, others may experience heartburn resulting from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). 

Your doctor may diagnose a paraesophageal hiatal hernia with an x-ray using a barium swallow, or through an endoscopic procedure.

Treatments for Paraesophageal Hiatal Hernias

In many cases, medications may be used to manage the acid reflux and heartburn associated with paraesophageal hiatal hernias. However, if medications don’t provide enough relief, or if the hernia threatens to disrupt blood flow to the stomach, surgery may be required.

The procedure to treat a paraesophageal hiatal hernia involves pulling the hernia back down into the abdomen, as well as narrowing the hole in the diaphragm. This surgery can either be performed using a traditional “open” method, which involves longer incisions, or through a minimally invasive laparoscopic technique, that only requires several small incisions.