I had a recent endoscopy and was diagnosed with a medium size hiatal hernia - I was supposed to have a few more tests - brava, etc but they had to put those off (brava recall). I did have a barium swallow test which showed some esophogeal spasms (which the doc said might be false). I have been dealing with chest and swallowing issues for about a year, varying severity - was told that it was lpr, and that I did also have reflux. Tried ppis, and didn't like them (some diarrhea with some of the kinds -I just don't like to take medicine). Although I haven't talked to him except after the test- he leads me to believe from that brief talk that he thinks surgery is probably the best option.
I am NOT in pain - sometimes I have globus, sometimes my chest is sore, I feel acid burn, sometimes I feel very uncomfortable, but - I think that he is jumping the gun after what I read about the surgery option. I am appreciably overweight and need to lose at least 70 pounds. I have been told that there is no cure for the fact that I have a hernia, but as I read about it, seems like diet and weight loss may relieve the symtoms. I work out every day on the eliptical or the bike for at least an hour, so I am not in terrible shape.
I am getting scared and depressed - not sure what to do.
Many many people have hiatal hernia without significant reflux symptoms, and the presence of the hernia is not proof that you need surgery. Now, I had Nissen fundoplication with hiatal hernia repair, and I'm delighted with the results. I recommend it to everyone here who sounds like a good candidate.
Right now, if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't consent to surgery yet. Your symptoms don't sound severe enough to justify it, and you mention swallowing problems. Do NOT have surgery until you have had manometry and Bravo. If the manometry confirms that your swallowing trouble is due to weak muscle action in the esophagus, the surgery can make that worse.
Try to lose the weight. We've had a lot of people here who had their symptoms completely resolve when they reach their ideal weight. And the good part about the "reflux diet" is that it lends itself to slow but reliable, lasting weight loss. See a registered dietician to set up a plan. Your health insurance may be willing to help pay for it, since you have a medical problem that might be caused by your weight.
The Following User Says Thank You to janewhite1 For This Useful Post: redjb7 (05-21-2012)
Thank You again Janewhite! I will follow your suggestions. Since I am having so much trouble with getting followup (also can't seem to get ahold of the doc, and his assistant no longer works there) - I am going to check out the nutritionist route. I think that is a great idea. I will call my Blue Cross today and see if they cover it and meanwhile I will be looking for a good dietition.
I also have a Hiatal-Hernia and yes losing weight and sticking to a healthy diet will help no end.
I was having awful burping and regurgitating with mine. I found that cutting out bread/cakes/pastries and most sugar containing foods, in other words (carbohydrates) I improved no end. I do slip up at times and pay for it but I feel that getting your weight down an eating healthy will pay rewards.
Surgery may still be the answer but try this unless directed otherwise by your Dr.
I wish you well,
The Following User Says Thank You to solofelix For This Useful Post: redjb7 (05-21-2012)
Thanks soloflex, for your reply. I just made an appointment with an RD for tonight and I am going to bring my husband (who is slim and fit - but wants to eat better also). I know you are right about the carbs - it is so DIFFICULT to break that addiction, but it is better than the alternative!! Thanks for the encouraging words!