Expert Hernia Surgeon with over 15 Years of Experience in Hernia Treatment
WHAT IS A HIATAL HERNIA?
Hiatal hernias are a relatively common condition in which the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. There are many cases of hiatal hernia in America annually, and it happens to a majority of senior citizens. This frequency is why Dr. Prokurat is so proficient in performing the hiatal hernia surgery New Jersey Advanced Surgical Solutions has become well known for.
WHAT CAUSES A HIATAL HERNIA?
Generally, the membrane that connects the chest the diaphragm keeps the stomach in place. However, due to old age, frequent vomiting, or obesity, the membrane can degenerate. This may force a segment of the stomach into the chest cavity, following the esophagus. We find that mostly middle-aged people to the elderly are the ones who suffer from Hiatal Hernias the most frequently. However, it is not rare that a younger individual will need treatment for a Hiatal Hernia.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A HERNIA?
Most people won’t know if they have a hiatal hernia or not. It doesn’t cause symptoms by itself. However, there are things that someone who may have a hiatal hernia may notice:
- Chest pain
- Acid Reflux
- Heartburn that varies with bodily position/stance
- Foreign feeling of air pressure
- Regurgitation of liquids or food
- Difficulty when swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Vomiting that contains blood
- Black stools, may be a sign of gastrointestinal bleeding
TESTING FOR HIATAL HERNIAS
Hiatal Hernia can be tested in a medical environment with the following tests:
- Barium Swallow X-Ray
- pH Test for stomach acids in esophagus
Physicians will generally not test for Hiatal Hernia if there are no symptoms present and the treatment is often based on the symptoms experienced.
Dr. Prokurat may use a specialized X-ray to diagnose a hiatal hernia. This special X-ray allows him to fully examine the esophagus and stomach. Another option is by means of an endoscopy, where Dr. Prokurat can view the hernia directly. Other methods of testing are also available and it will be up to your doctor to determine your exact course of diagnosis and treatment. As symptoms can vary from patient to patient, the physical examination will allow our team of medical professionals to establish the exact scope of the situation and lay out the proper course of treatment for you.
TREATMENT OF HIATAL HERNIAS
Depending on the intensity of the symptoms experienced, there are different solutions for treating a Hiatal Hernia:
- Weight Management
- If your weight is causing hiatal herniation, the healthiest way to remove the damage is to lose the weight. Depending on the outcome of weight loss, other procedures may be necessary.
- Antacids / Acid Suppressants
- Taking either prescription or over-the-counter antacids or acid suppressants can reduce the effects of acid in the stomach, or reduce the amount of acid in the stomach, minimizing any “spilling” of acids outside of the stomach.
If all else has failed, minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery can fix a hiatal hernia (and many other herniations in the body).
WHERE CAN I TREAT MY HERNIA?
If your health is in danger due to this condition, call Dr. Val Prokurat, the specialist in hiatal hernia surgery New Jersey relies on and trusts. With offices in Hamilton, Freehold, and Long Branch NJ, he is conveniently located to patients near the Central New Jersey area.