What is a hiatal hernia?
Any time an internal part of the body pushes somewhere it does not belong, it is referred to as a hernia. The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm, (the muscle wall that separates the stomach from the chest) where the hernia is most likely to appear. Typically, the esophagus (food pipe) goes through the hiatus, and fastens to your stomach. With hiatal (hiatus) hernia your stomach will bulge into the chest through this opening. Hiatal hernias are most common in adults fifty and over. The job of the diaphragm is to keep the stomach in the abdominal cavity. When a hiatal hernia occurs, it is much easier for acid to come up. This leaking is also called gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). Hiatal Hernia’s are diagnosed and treated by the GI Division of Premier Medical Group.