Dietary changes: Avoid foods that trigger acid reflux, such as spicy, fatty, and acidic foods. Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
Weight management: Losing excess weight, especially if you are overweight or obese, can help alleviate symptoms by reducing abdominal pressure.
Posture and positioning: Avoid lying down or bending over immediately after meals. Elevate the head of your bed or use a wedge pillow to prevent acid reflux during sleep.
Smoking cessation: Quitting smoking can improve LES function and reduce the risk of acid reflux.
Avoiding tight clothing: Wearing tight belts or clothing that compresses the abdomen can increase pressure on the stomach and contribute to reflux.
Antacids: Over-the-counter antacids can provide temporary relief from heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): Prescription or over-the-counter PPIs can reduce stomach acid production and help heal the esophagus if it’s been damaged by acid reflux.
H2 blockers: H2 blockers are medications that reduce acid production in the stomach and can provide relief from heartburn.
Laparoscopic Surgery for Hiatus Hernia
If lifestyle changes and medications do not effectively control symptoms, or if there are complications (e.g., severe bleeding, strangulation of the hernia), surgery may be recommended. Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that is often used to repair hiatus hernias. It is a safe and effective way to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
During laparoscopic surgery, a surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen and inserts a thin, telescope-like camera and surgical instruments through the incisions. The camera allows the surgeon to see the inside of the abdomen without having to make a large incision.
The surgeon then repairs the hiatus hernia and reinforces the lower esophageal sphincter to prevent further herniation. In some cases, the surgeon may also perform a fundoplication, which is a procedure that involves wrapping the top of the stomach around the lower esophagus to strengthen the LES and prevent reflux.
Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication
Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is a type of fundoplication that is commonly used to treat hiatus hernia and GERD. In this procedure, the surgeon wraps the top of the stomach around the lower esophagus in a complete 360-degree rotation. This helps to strengthen the LES and prevent acid from flowing back into the esophagus.
Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is a safe and effective procedure, but it is important to note that it is a major surgery. There are some potential risks and complications associated with the surgery, such as bleeding, infection, and difficulty swallowing.
If you are considering surgery for a hiatus hernia, talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication.
Additional Safety Guidelines
Do not self-diagnose or self-treat a hiatus hernia. See a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Be careful when taking over-the-counter medications for heartburn and acid reflux. Some of these medications can have side effects, especially if taken long-term.
If you are considering surgery for a hiatus hernia, talk to your doctor about all of your options and the risks and benefits of each option.
Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully after surgery. This will help to ensure a safe and successful recovery