Giant Hiatus Hernia

Giant Hiatus Hernia occurs when a large portion of the stomach rolls up into the chest. This causes extra problems to reflux disease.

Patients with very large hiatus hernia often do not have typical symptoms. The heartburn and regurgitation which was present in the past sometimes disappears as the hernia enlarges.

Symptoms

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Food jamming in the oesophagus
  • Small appetite
  • Chest pain after eating which mimicks a heart attack
  • Unexplained anaemia
  • Poor exercise tolerance
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations

Medication in this case is only effective for reducing heartburn and does not fix the other symptoms and most probably does not reduce the risks.

Dangers

  • Severe bleeding from the stomach / ulceration
  • Strangulation of the stomach hernia
  • Possible fatality as a result of the above

Diagnosis

This condition can be partly recognised by its symptoms. The best form of diagnosis is by your local doctor performing abarium meal. Sometimes the situation is recognised on endoscopy, but it is frequently misinterpreted.

Treatment

Treatment is by keyhole surgery and a 2 day hospital stay. Results have been excellent and the lethargy, shortness of breath and eating have been greatly improved.

For more information see: www.gts.net.org

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