It is very common that patients contacting Mexicali Bariatric Center interested in a bariatric surgery know they have a hiatal hernia and want it repaired at the same time. This is usually the case when patients have symptoms and have already been diagnosed by their own doctor, many already take medication for the symptoms.
It is even more common that patients come in for surgery and are not aware they have a hiatal hernia and are diagnosed during the pre-op tests done here. This is usually the case when patients are asymptomatic but some patients do experience symptoms that they do not know to be related to a hiatal hernia.
The first question from patients is: What are my options?
If your hiatal hernia is small it can easily be repaired at the time of a gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or DS surgery. By small we refer to a hernia less than 3 cm in diameter. Each case is different but at Mexicali Bariatric Surgery there is usually no extra cost for repairing a small hernia at the time of surgery if the surgeon will be working in the upper stomach.
If your hiatal hernia is larger than 3 cm it may also be repaired at the time of surgery but this becomes a more complicated added procedure. The hernia repair, when done properly may add an extra 40 minutes to the bariatric surgery time. A typical gastric sleeve surgery lasts under an hour so repairing a large hiatal hernia may actually double the OR time. This hiatal hernia repair does entail extra cost.
All patients have the option of not repairing the hernia at the time of bariatric surgery and planning on taking care of it at a later time. This is especially the case with asymptomatic patients. Patients may also have insurance to cover this procedure at home. The scheduled bariatric surgery can usually be done without any problems as scheduled. The 2nd surgery to repair the hernia may be scheduled as soon as 9 weeks after having bariatric surgery.
Patients with a small to medium hiatal hernia may experience an improvement in symptoms after losing weight with their bariatric surgery. Relieving pressure in the abdomen, through weight loss, may help relieve symptoms caused by a hiatal hernia without having it repaired.
It is important to note that hernias have an incidence of reoccurrence. Even after repairing a hiatal hernia it may appear once again over a period of time.
At Mexicali Bariatric Center, we provide the best follow-up treatment for surgeries because we know that the nutrition and supplements you take after bariatric surgery are also essential for long-term, favorable results. Contact us now! We care about your health.