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Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Hiatal Hernia: Issues to Consider and Options for Correction

By Fernando Garcia on September 25, 2014

Discussing medical treatment options in the waiting roomOne of the reasons that patients from abroad come to Dr. Fernando Garcia in Tijuana is because of his knowledge and experience when addressing various health matters. This includes performing highly effective gastric sleeve surgery to promote rapid and safe weight loss.

Sometimes certain health issues need to be addressed in order to ensure successful bariatric surgery. One such issue is the hiatal hernia. Let's use this post to go over the basics of this health issue.

About Hiatal Hernias

A hiatal hernia shouldn't be confused with the kinds of hernias that we associate with heavy lifting. The term "hernia" simply refers to any instances in which an organ pushes into another part of the body where it should not ideally be.

With that in mind, let's define a few parts of the anatomy. The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm (the muscular wall that separates the abdominal area from the chest cavity). Sometimes part of the stomach will push past the hiatus, bulging up into the lower portion of the chest. When this happens, it is known as a hiatal hernia.

Causes of Hiatal Hernias

Hiatal hernias can be congenital in nature if a person is born with a large hiatus. Injuries to the abdominal region and significant stress and muscle pressure on the abdominal region can also cause it to occur. Hiatal hernias become more likely if a person is older than 50 or if a person is obese or morbidly obese.

Types of Hiatal Hernias

There are two types of hiatal hernias that may occur:

  • Sliding Hiatal Hernia - This refers to cases in which the upper portion of the stomach linked to the lower portion of the esophagus bulges up past the hiatus.
  • Paraesophageal Hiatial Hernia - The rarer form of this condition, this refers to cases in which part of the stomach not near the upper portion/hiatus area squeezes past the hiatus and rests beside the esophagus. This is a much more serious condition than the sliding hernia.

Symptoms of Hiatal Hernias

Common symptoms of hiatal hernias include:

  • Excessive belching
  • Heartburn
  • Chest pain
  • Problems swallowing food
  • Fatigue

It should be noted that the majority of hiatal hernias that people experience are small and result in few signs or symptoms. Larger hiatal hernias are prone to cause the side effects above to occur.

Issues to Bariatric Surgery Success Posed by Hiatal Hernia

Since bariatric surgery procedures do require digestive tracts to be in generally healthy and normal condition in order to ensure success, it's important that hiatal hernias be revised as part of the bariatric procedure or before the bariatric procedure. Either before or simultaneous correction of the hiatal hernia is fine, and simultaneous surgery is not unheard of.

During a consultation with Dr. Garcia, you will be able to learn more about simultaneous hiatal hernia surgery and weight loss surgery.

Will insurance or a flex spending account (FSA) cover surgery for hiatal hernia correction?

Yes in both cases. Both medical insurance and flex spending accounts (FSAs) will often cover hiatal hernia surgery. In fact, in a number of cases, the combined hiatal hernia correction and weight loss surgery will be covered by your insurance provider or FSA provider. Since coverage can vary based on the individual, be sure to check about the nature of your plan and what paperwork or stipulations must be met.

Schedule a Consultation for Bariatric Surgery

To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery and how it can have a positive benefit on your overall health and wellness, be sure to contact our surgical weight loss center today. Dr. Garcia and his entire team look forward to your visit and helping you achieve the best possible results through bariatric surgery.

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Dr. Garcia is awesome. I chose bariatrics vertical sleeve surgery. I've lost 85 lbs. since January 2017. No complications... I regret not doing this years ago. Debbie M.

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