In a hiatal hernia, parts of or all of the stomach bulges into the chest cavity via the hiatus (an opening in the diaphragm). Though most hiatal hernias are harmless, some hiatal hernias can be dangerous. Sometimes, it can cause constriction around the stomach and cut off blood supply to the stomach. Symptoms of more dangerous hernias include chest pains, trouble swallowing food and liquids, and various digestive issues.
Patients are recommended to receive hiatal hernia surgery for hernias that present complications. During hiatal surgery, the surgeon makes small incisions into the skin to create room for a laparoscope (a small, fiber-optic instrument attached to a camera). The surgeon inserts this tool into the abdomen and then moves the liver to reveal the stomach, diaphragm, and the hernia. Using these tools, your surgeon pulls the herniated stomach back into place.