Treatment for the hiatus hernia is generally only necessary if it is causing any sort of problem. In most of the cases, people with hiatus hernia will only experience the problems if hernia causes gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). GORD will cause the symptoms like heartburn & an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Lifestyle changes & medication were the treatments to be preferred, even though surgery can be used as the alternative to the long-term medication, or if other treatments were ineffective.
Surgery is generally only recommended for the sliding hiatus hernia (hernias which move up & down, in & out of the chest area) if this problem fails to respond to the lifestyle changes & medication.
You should also want to consider for the surgery, if you have continues and troublesome symptoms, but don't want to use any kind of medication on a long-term basis.
Prior to the surgery, further investigations are needed to check how well the oesophagus moves (manometry) & how much of acid is being refluxed (24-hour oesopageal pH studies).
Laparoscopic nissen fundoplication (LNF):
A procedure known as laparoscopic nissen fundoplication (LNF) is one of the most common surgical procedures used to treat the GORD & sliding hiatus hernias. LNF is a kind of a keyhole surgery which involves by making a series of small incisions or cuts in the abdomen.
Carbon dioxide gas will be used to inflate the abdomen to give the doctor room to work in.
By performing LNF, the stomach will be put back into the correct place & the diaphragm around lower part of the oesophagus will be tightened. This is done to prevent any acid which are moving back out of the stomach. LNF will be carried out under general anaesthesia, so that you won't feel any kind of pain or any discomfort. The surgery will takes 60 - 90 minutes to complete.
After LNF was performed, you can leave hospital after you are recovered from the effects of general anaesthesia. This was generally within 2 - 3 days. Based on the kind of job you do, you can able to return to your work within 3 - 6 weeks.
In the first 6 weeks after the surgery, it is recommended that you need to consume only soft food, like mince, mashed potatoes or any kind of vegetable soup. Try to avoid eating hard food like toast, chicken or steak.