Paraesophageal Hernia services offered in Frederick, MD

A paraesophageal hernia can cause several unpleasant digestive symptoms. These common hernias bring many people to the care of Michael Winton, MD, FACS, of Foris Surgical Group in Frederick, Maryland. If you need treatment for a paraesophageal hernia, call the office to book a visit or schedule online using the booking tool.

Paraesophageal Hernia Q&A

What is a paraesophageal hernia?

A hernia develops any time a portion of an internal organ begins to push or bulge out of the muscle or other tissue that normally holds it in place. A paraesophageal hernia, also called a hiatal hernia, occurs when a portion of your esophagus, stomach, or other organs move upward into your chest cavity. 

Normally, your muscular diaphragm creates a separation between your chest and abdomen. An opening in the diaphragm, called the hiatus, allows organs to pass from your chest into your abdomen. 

There are several different types of paraesophageal hernias. Type I, also called a sliding hernia, occurs when the section of your esophagus that connects to your stomach moves through the hiatus and into the chest.

Types II, III, and IV are more serious, and occur when part of the stomach and potentially other abdominal organs move upward into the chest.  

What are some signs I might have a paraesophageal hernia?

Knowing what to look for can help you know when to seek treatment for an esophageal hernia. Some of the symptoms of this condition include:

  • Reflux, or a small portion of food and stomach acid moving upward into the esophagus
  • Heartburn
  • Frequent burping
  • Vomiting
  • Unexplained chest or abdominal pain
  • Coughing or shortness of breath
  • Sensation of fullness after eating
  • Bloating

If you experience these changes, a chest X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scanning, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can determine if a paraesophageal hernia is present. 

What kinds of treatments can help with a paraesophageal hernia?

A type I paraesophageal hernia might not need treatment other than medications to control reflux. More advanced hernias usually need surgical intervention to restore proper organ positioning. 

Hernia repair is usually done using minimally invasive surgical techniques. In rare cases, open surgery is the only way to repair a paraesophageal hernia. 

Come into Foris Surgical Group for a thorough discussion of all available treatment options. You can learn more about what to expect from the procedure itself as well as the recovery process. 

What Should I expect After surgery? 

Robotic paraesophageal hernia repair patients stay in the hospital one night and are discharged home by lunchtime the next day.  Postop pain is usually well controlled without the need for heavy narcotic medications.  Postop diet plans are discussed on an individual basis, but usually consist of a liquid diet for the first 1-2 weeks, then are advanced to soft foods.  Generally patients are back to school, work or their normal routine by 1-2 weeks after their surgery.

Booking a visit takes just a few moments online or over the phone, so make time to schedule a visit and chart a course of action.