Does a Hiatal Hernia Heal on Its Own?

Does a Hiatal Hernia Heal on Its Own?

The title of this month’s blog asks whether hiatal hernias can heal on their own, and the answer is a simple no. In fact, no hernia, once it has developed, can heal by itself. But they can exist without incident. 

If, however, your hiatal hernia has become problematic and it’s causing side effects, management is key. Furthermore, there are instances in which the problem can threaten blood supply in your abdomen and surgery provides the only solution.

To help you better understand the ins and outs of hiatal hernias, the team of skilled surgeons at Rockwall Surgical Specialists focuses on this type of hernia in this month’s blog.

Behind a hiatal hernia

A hernia is a condition in which a piece of tissue protrudes into another space. In the case of a hiatal hernia, a piece of the top of your stomach bulges through your diaphragm.

This development can occur in people of all ages and both sexes, but 50% of hiatal hernias develop in people over age 60, and 15-20% of pregnant women develop a hiatal hernia.

While these numbers may seem daunting, hiatal hernias cause symptoms in less than 10% of those who have this type of bulge. When symptoms do develop, they generally mimic those of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and include:

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention to prevent irreparable damage to your esophagus.

Treating symptomatic hiatal hernias

If your hiatal hernia is causing symptoms, you first work with your doctor to control and manage these symptoms. Because most side effects are similar to those that accompany GERD, you can expect to start with conservative GERD treatments that include:

If your hiatal hernia doesn’t respond to these measures, it might be time to look at a surgical repair with a member of the Rockwall Surgical Specialists team. 

Another instance in which surgery is the best course of action is when a piece of the bulging tissue twists in a way that cuts off blood supply. This is an emergent situation, and surgery is the only way to undo the twist and save the tissue.

Surgical repair of your hiatal hernia

Our team has considerable experience repairing hernias, and we use the most advanced surgical techniques available. For a hiatal hernia, we use laparoscopy, a technique in which we only make small incisions to access and repair your hernia.

When we say repair, we first move the protruding tissue back into place. Then we place a mesh over the weak spot in your diaphragm to prevent the stomach tissue from pushing through that area again.

If you’d like to learn more about surgical treatment for symptomatic hiatal hernias, please contact us at one of our locations — in Rowlett, Rockwall, Greenville, Terrell, or Forney, Texas — to set up an appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux

If, like millions of others, you struggle with acid reflux, there are many things you can do to better manage the condition that don’t involve medications or surgery, starting with the five tips we outline here.

Where Do You Fit on the Body Mass Index?

When it comes to assessing your weight, one of the frontline tools is the body mass index (BMI) calculator, which measures your body fat based on your height and weight. Here’s where your results fit in.

Should You Have a Colonoscopy This Year?

Deaths attributed to colorectal cancers have been dropping over the past several decades, and colonoscopies play a very large role in this decline. Here’s a look at when you should undergo this important cancer screening.

5 Tips for Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

The decision to undergo bariatric surgery typically isn’t one that’s made overnight but after years of trying, unsuccessfully, to lose weight. With that decision made, there are a number of things you can do to prepare so everything goes smoothly.

What Role Does My Thyroid Play in My Body?

Body temperature, metabolism, heart rate — these are just three of the many areas in which your thyroid plays a role. Here’s a look at the large influence this small gland has in your body.