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What are the risks of a hiatal hernia surgery?

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Possible risks or complications of hiatal hernia surgery include temporary swallowing difficulties, superficial wound infections and recurrence of a hiatal hernia, explains the UNC Department of Surgery. In certain cases, patients may develop a protruding hernia that pushes through weakened areas in the incision, however, this risk is rare.

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Additional risks of hiatal hernia surgery include abdominal bloating and pain caused by gas-build up and recurring heartburn, according to WebMD. During the procedure, an incision is made in the abdomen or chest and the upper portion of the stomach is wrapped around the lower part of the esophagus. In certain cases, the esophagus may slide out from the wrapped area and cause the lower portion of the esophagus to become unsupported. Since the procedure is not reversible, this can lead to continual discomfort.

Laproscopic hiatal hernia procedures take approximately two to four hours to complete and patients are usually discharged from the hospital within one day, while open surgical procedures commonly require a hospital stay of 5 to 7 days, explains Summa Health System. Individuals who undergo laproscopic surgery can usually resume regular activities within one week, while those who are treated with open surgery must wait up to six weeks in order to fully recover. While both procedures work well to correct hiatal hernias, laproscopic procedures are less invasive, with approximately 90 percent of patients remaining free of symptoms for up to 10 years following the surgery.

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