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.
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.
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.
"I am coming up on my 1 year anniversary, post major surgery that without what Dr. Wool did, I wouldn't be here today"
"They get 5 stars in my book ALL AROUND: receptionists, waiting room, Doctors, cleanliness & friendliness"
"Dr. Holtgen is a great surgeon who takes the condition of his patients very seriously"
"Dr. Holtgen is a great surgeon who takes the condition of his patients very seriously...I completely trust this surgeon"
"Very impressed with Dr. Hoeltgen. Very professional. Felt completely safe with him. Did a great job with my very serious surgery"
"Dr. Wool and his practice were outstanding! ...I admired his positive attitude. Any concerns I had he helped put my mind at ease"
"Dr. Wool is an excellent physician and surgeon. He is very thorough and takes the right amount of time explaining everything"
"had a really great experience! very professional, very sharp and just on top of it"