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Laparoscopic Hiatal Hernia Repair


What you need to know about laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair:

Laparoscopic hernia repair is surgery to repair a hiatal hernia.

How to prepare for laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair:

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You may be given an antibiotic through your IV to help prevent a bacterial infection.

What will happen during laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair:

  • You will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your surgeon will make a small incision above your belly button. He will insert a laparoscope through this incision. A laparoscope is a long metal tube with a light and camera on the end. Your surgeon will insert other instruments by making 2 to 4 smaller incisions at different places on your abdomen. Tools are used to remove the sac that contains your herniated stomach.
  • Your stomach will then be placed back into its normal position. Stitches or mesh may be placed to close or decrease the size of your enlarged hiatus (opening in the diaphragm). Your healthcare provider may wrap a portion of your stomach around the esophagus. Your stomach will then be stitched and attached to the abdominal wall. The incisions will be closed with stitches or steristrips and covered with bandages.

What will happen after laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair:

  • You will need to do deep breathing exercises after your surgery to decrease your risk for a lung infection. Deep breaths help open your airway. These exercises will be painful because they put pressure on your incisions. You will be shown how to hold a pillow while you do breathing exercises to help decrease pain.
  • You may need to follow a soft diet for up to 4 weeks after your surgery.
  • Do not drive for a week after your surgery. Do not lift heavy objects. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you can return to your daily activities.

Risks of laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair:

Your esophagus, stomach, blood vessels, or nerves may get injured during the surgery. You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Problems may happen during your laparoscopic repair that may lead to a laparotomy (open surgery). Even after you have this surgery, there is a chance that you could have another hernia. You may also have trouble swallowing and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.