Recent studies show that 42% of bariatric patients with a weight problem have Hiatal Hernia (HH) or Para-Esophageal Hernia (PEH). A hernia repair and a Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG) performed at the same time successfully control the reflux symptoms and reduce body weight.
In a recent study presented in 2013 Obesity Week meeting in Atlanta, GA, it was found that of the 338 patients who underwent LSG (gastric sleeve) 29% of those patients were found to have hiatal hernias and 13% were found to have a para-esophageal hernia. With hiatal hernias found to be common among overweight individuals, it is easy to see why many doctors have to combine laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and hiatal hernia repair.
Many patients may not know they suffer from Hiatal Hernia, nicknamed the “great mimic”, because patients may attribute HH symptoms to other health issues. For many patients, it’s news to find out they have hiatal hernias.
“The bariatric surgeon needs to look carefully to repair the hernia during the surgery to prevent intolerance to eating after surgery as well as the need for future surgery to repair the hernia”, says leading bariatric surgeon.
If left untreated, hiatal hernias can cause strangulation among other things – which is why most bariatric surgeons repair hiatal hernias when they spot them. To diagnosis HH, patients need to undergo endoscopy or high-resolution manometry. Hiatal Hernias can be a problem for many reasons and can lead to unwanted problems including heart palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pains, and other issues.
Hiatus Hernia (HH), also called Hiatal Hernia, is when the upper part of the stomach protrudes into the thorax. This prevalence of hiatal hernias usually happens the older individuals get, with 60% of individuals over 50 having a hiatal hernia. Patients suffering from GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease) are likely to have hiatal hernia. A Hiatus Hernia is commonly found in North America and Western Europe countries with many attributing it to lack of a fiber-rich diet.
Other factors attributing to Hiatal Hernias including smoking, drug use, stress, diaphragm weakness, and increased pressure within the abdomen. The pressure within the abdomen can come from heavy lifting, bending over, coughing, obesity and other issues.
The key to a successful weight loss surgery involves many factors including realistic goals, proper post-surgery nutrition and more importantly a well-trained bariatric surgeon who can spot HH signs. We are very experienced in spotting hernia and repairing them so patients can achieve weight loss surgery with gastric sleeve and have no reflux symptoms.