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Why Do I Need Hiatal Hernia Repair with Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

About 40% of patients undergoing gastric sleeve surgery will either have a Hiatal Hernia or a Para-Esophageal Hernia. If either type of hernias is present during weight loss surgery, it must be resolved at that time. Hiatal Hernias are often present in patients who suffer from obesity because when the body mass increases in size, the risk for acid reflux and GERD increases.

What Exactly is a Hiatal Hernia?

A hiatal hernia is a health condition in which the diaphragm separates the patient’s stomach. This creates a section of the abdomen right above the diaphragm and a second section just below the diaphragm. When each section is separated, it pushes up the lower esophageal sphincter and becomes too far from the hiatus. This separation causes a loss of support from keeping the acid and stomach contents from entering the esophagus.  A hiatal hernia can occur due to injury, straining during a bowel movement, heavy vomiting, smoking, age, obesity, body mass index, and more. You will find that patients suffering from obesity or over the age of 50 are often diagnosed with a hiatal hernia.

What are the Symptoms of a Hiatal Hernia?

  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Fatigue
  • Belching
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent burping
  • A sore throat
  • Swallowing Difficulties
  • Feeling full soon after you eat
  • Vomiting of blood or passing of black stools, both of which may indicate gastrointestinal bleeding

Should I Get a Gastric Sleeve or a Gastric Bypass Surgery If I Have a Hiatal Hernia?

Great Question! If the hiatal hernia is small, your surgeon can perform a gastric sleeve and repair the hernia during weight loss surgery. However, if the hernia is large, there is less pressure on the diaphragm and a gastric sleeve would not be a good idea. If the hernia is large, gastric bypass surgery would be recommended. Performing an endoscopy before your weight loss surgery is the best way to determine if you will need a hiatal hernia with gastric sleeve surgery; this will also indicate the size of your hernia if one exists.

What If I Have a Hiatal Hernia and I Do Not Want it Repaired?

If you are undergoing weight loss surgery and you have a hiatal hernia, the repair is mandatory. If the hiatal hernia with gastric sleeve surgery is not repaired, your smaller stomach can be pulled further up through the muscle wall. This action can cause a significant complication and can strangulate the stomach. The higher the pressure in the new abdomen can cause vomiting or very severe acid reflux.

Why Be Slim Bariatrics for Hiatal Hernia Repair with Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Be Slim Bariatrics specializes in working with patients who suffer from hiatal hernia.  Fill out a health questionnaire with Be Slim Bariatrics; if you have been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia or have experienced symptoms, ensure you list these concerns on your health form. Your assigned surgeon will guide you on the best course of action. Your surgeon knows best; trust the experts.

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2021 | Reviewed by: Dr. Miguel Navarro Oct 14, 2021

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