Laparoscopic Hiatal Hernia Repair
A hiatal hernia is a condition in which a portion of the lower esophagus and stomach slide into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm called a hiatus. Symptoms that can indicate a hiatal hernia include heartburn, difficulty swallowing or chest pain.
The patient is under general anesthesia and the procedure general lasts three to six hours. The surgery is performed using a laparoscope, a small, lighted camera that can see inside the body, and with other small instruments inserted through a few small ½-inch-long incisions. First, the surgeon moves the stomach and esophagus back to their proper location to reduce the hernia. Then the surgeon sutures closed a portion of the diaphragmatic hiatus in order to narrow the opening. This is known as a laparoscopic cruroplasty. This smaller opening will only be large enough for the esophagus to pass through, so that it is less likely that the stomach will bulge through the opening. Large hiatal hernias also can be treated with the placement of a bioabsorbable mesh to reinforce the diaphragmatic suture repair.
The Difference of Minimally Invasive
There are numerous benefits to having this procedure performed laparoscopically rather than with the traditional open method:
- Faster recovery, patient may return home the same day as the surgery and many are mobile by the next day. Normal activities may resume after about a week.
- Less pain post-operatively
- Fewer post-operative complications
- Cosmetic appeal: The surgery is performed through a few small, barely visible incisions