What are the treatments for the condition?
Treatment of hiatal hernia is focused on treating and reducing symptoms. To reduce symptoms, a person should:
sleep with the head of the bed raised several inches
avoid citrus fruits, spicy foods, alcohol, smoking, and caffeine
eat small, frequent meals
maintain a healthy weight, or losing weight if obese
avoid eating within 2 hours before bedtime
avoid straining during bowel movements or heavy lifting
Medications that block acid production in the stomach or that make the stomach empty faster may help.
Surgery may be needed if symptoms are severe or persistent, or if there is a large hole in the diaphragm. The surgery is done to strengthen the diaphragm and decrease the size of the esophageal hiatus.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Medications that block stomach acid production can cause nausea, headache, or diarrhea. Surgery carries a risk of bleeding, infection, and allergic reactions to anesthesia.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
For mild intermittent symptoms, treatment with antacids, watching diet and activity may control hiatal hernia. For more serious recurrent symptoms, surgery may be needed. Recovery from surgery may be a few days to several weeks depending on the procedure used.
How is the condition monitored?
Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.