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What does stomach hernia surgery entail?

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Quick Answer

Surgery to correct a stomach hernia usually entails small abdominal incisions, and the insertion of surgical instruments into the abdomen to examine and repair the hernia, according to WebMD. No dietary restrictions are required, and complete recovery takes about 2 weeks.

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A hernia occurs any time an internal part of the body is forced into an area other than where it belongs, explains WebMD. A stomach hernia involves the stomach being pushed through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm separating the abdomen from the chest cavity. Normally the esophagus extends through the hiatus where it connects to the stomach.

In a sliding hiatial hernia, the more common type of stomach hernia, both the stomach and the end of the esophagus joining it slide through the hiatus, explains WebMD. In the other type of stomach hernia, the paraesophageal hernia, the esophagus and stomach remain in their normal positions, but a portion of the stomach is squeezed through the hiatus adjacent to the esophagus. This kind of hernia occurs less frequently and does not always exhibit symptoms, but can be dangerous if blood circulation to the stomach is interrupted.

After stomach hernia surgery, a patient is usually able to walk about the next day and resume normal activities within a week, reports WebMD. Complete recovery typically takes 2 or 3 weeks, and patients should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for at least 3 months.

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