Upper GIT Unit

Hiatus hernia

What are the symptoms:

  • Regular heartburn
  • Food that pushes back up after eating or when lying down
  • Bloated
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • High abdominal pain


  • Long term reflux and lead to narrowing of your esophagus with difficulty in swallowing.
  • Barrett’s esophagus with an increased risk to develop cancer of your esophagus.
  • In certain cases it can lead to lung damage due to acid aspiration.


  • Medical treatment ( PPI’s)
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Surgery

Types of surgery

Most operations are done laparoscopically, which means it is done through keyhole surgery. There are different types of operations described, but the one most commonly performed is called a Nissen fundoplication.

The hernia, or opening in the diaphragm is closed to prevent the upper part of the stomach from sliding into the chest.

The upper part of the stomach (fundus) is wrapped around the lower part of the esophagus to create a one way valve. This prevents reflux, but enables the patient to swallow.

Who needs surgery

Patients who suffer from volume reflux (food regugitating up into the esophagus)

Severe acid reflux

Large hernias that cause other symptoms like pain or difficulty in swallowing. These are called para esophageal hernias, where a part of the stomach is permanently in the chest.

Dr. Abraham Bezuidenhout

Dr. Abraham Bezuidenhout

Specialist Surgeon
Dr.Marthinus J G.-Smit

Dr. Marthinus J. G. Smit

Specialist Surgeon