Paraesophageal Hernia Repair Specialist

Barrington Surgeons, LTD

Surgeons located in Barrington, IL

When patients in Barrington, Illinois, suffer from a paraesophageal hernia, which is when a portion of the stomach is in the chest instead of the abdominal cavity, Dr. Wool and Dr. Hoeltgen at Barrington Surgeons perform robotic paraesophageal hernia repair surgery.

Paraesophageal and Hiatal Hernia Repair Q & A

What Is a Paraesophageal or Hiatal Hernia?

A hernia occurs anytime that an internal body part pushes into a part of the body where it doesn’t belong. A paraesophageal hiatal hernia is when a small portion of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm into the chest cavity near the esophageal hiatus. Like most conditions, these hernias are asymptomatic in the early stages. However, if left untreated they can cause chest pain, upper abdominal pain, reflux, and difficulty swallowing. There is also a higher risk of the stomach getting stuck, which can lead to circulation problems and the need for emergency surgery. Signs that surgery is necessary include chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach ulcers, trouble swallowing, and pain in the middle of the upper abdomen.

How Are Paraesophageal Hernias and Hiatal Hernias Repaired?

Dr. Wool and Dr. Hoeltgen provide laparoscopic surgical repairs for paraesophageal hernias. Typically, five small incisions are needed in the upper abdomen. During the procedure, the stomach is gently moved back into the abdominal cavity and the diaphragm at the esophageal hiatus is closed to prevent the stomach from slipping through again. In some cases, a surgical mesh shield is inserted to fully seal and protect the diaphragm. In most cases, after the diaphragm is repaired, the patient is given a fundoplication, similar to the wrap performed to treat GERD to provide further protection to stop the stomach from herniating into the chest cavity. When possible, the surgeons use the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System to perform this delicate procedure.

What Are the Expected Results of Hernia Repair?

In most cases, laparoscopic paraesophageal hernia repair procedures are very effective. Patients typically have fewer complications following laparoscopic procedures and heal more quickly than with a traditional open surgery. Patients may stay in the hospital for a day or so and are back to normal activities within a month.