Hiatal Hernia Specialist in Phoenix, AZ
A hiatal hernia is a common condition digestive / muscular problem that stems from a strain that pushes the stomach through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. There are many cases of a hiatal hernia in America annually, and it happens to a majority of senior citizens.
What Causes Hiatal Hernia?
Generally, the membrane that connects the chest the diaphragm keeps the stomach in place. However, due to:
- Old age
- Frequent vomiting
The membrane can degenerate, which may force a segment of the stomach into the chest cavity, following the esophagus. We find that most 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 Hiatal Hernia?
Most people won’t know if they have a hiatal hernia or not. Extreme cases of a hiatal hernia may cause a few of the following symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Acid Reflux
- Heartburn that varies with bodily position/stance.
- A foreign feeling of air pressure.
A hiatal hernia can be tested in a lab by performing one of the following tests:
- Barium Swallow X-Ray
- pH Test for stomach acids in esophagus
However, a doctor will generally not test for a hiatal hernia if there are no symptoms present. Treatment is often based on the symptoms experienced.
Treating The Symptoms of a Hiatal Hernia
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).
What Kind of Doctor Do I Go To To Fix a Hiatal Hernia?
If the hiatal hernia is causing you health problems, call the General Surgery team at Agave Surgical Specialists at 602-582-5233 to schedule an appointment. You can also use our easy-to-use, secure appointment request to talk with one of our surgeons about repairing hiatal hernia.