Hiatal Hernia in Children

Save

A hiatal hernia is when part of the stomach moves upward and bulges through the wall of the esophagus and diaphragm. It is caused because of a weakness in the muscle where the esophagus passes through to the stomach. Although hiatal hernias normally occur in adults, they can occur in children as well. For the majority of those with a hiatal hernia, it is a defect at birth and can go unnoticed and without symptoms. Some hiatal hernias develop because of changes in weight, physical activity, vomiting, coughing or even during bowel movements.

Symptoms

  • Children with a hiatal hernia may feel like there is something burning in the chest and throat, especially after eating. Because of the strain from the hernia, stomach acid is pushed up into the esophagus causing a burning sensation. Some children with a hiatal hernia suffer from reflux disease. Symptoms of a hiatal hernia include chest pain, bloating and problems swallowing caused by the restriction of the stomach.

Complications

  • If a hernia becomes strangulated as it is pinched or twisted, it can be life-threatening because the stomach loses its blood supply. In the case of large hernias, lesions can develop and begin to bleed in the diaphragm.

Diagnosis

  • If a hiatal hernia is suspected, a doctor will most likely order an endoscopy with a barium swallow in order to easily see the area between the esophagus and the stomach. This procedure is often done under a mild anesthesia to decrease the pain and discomfort. X-rays are also used to help the cause of the problem. These procedures can be performed in an outpatient setting.

Treatment Options

  • The majority of treatment options focus on dietary changes, including restricting foods that are acidic or spicy, as well as food and drinks that are caffeinated. In order to reduce the reflux caused by the hiatal hernia, it is important to elevate the head when laying down and avoid eating before bed. Many physicians will recommend eating smaller meals throughout the day to reduce reflux. A doctor may prescribe antacid medication to reduce the possiblility of damage to the esophagus. If the hiatal hernia is large and could become strangulated or twisted, surgery may be recommended. A hiatal hernia can be fixed through laproscopic surgery. A small incision is made and a laproscope (small camera) is inserted into the area and provides live images for the surgeon. A few other small incisions are made for other surgical instruments to be inserted and are used to pull the stomach down into the abdomen. The surgeon will then repair the weakened muscle wall.

Recovery

  • Many children are able to get up and walk around the same day of surgery. However, full recovery can be two to three weeks. It is important to reduce the risk of recurrence in the first few months post-op by not allowing any heavy lifting.

References

Promoted By Zergnet

Resources

You May Also Like

  • Groin Hernia Signs & Symptoms

    Some people are not even aware they have a groin hernia, or inguinal hernia, until they visit their doctor for a routine...

  • Incarcerated Hernia Symptoms

    When muscle or connective tissue (fascia) becomes weak, a hole is created, and an organ or fatty tissue can squeeze through it....

  • Symptoms of a Hernia in a Baby

    Hernias are a common condition in babies. They happen when part of a tissue or organ protrudes into a space where it...

  • What Are the Treatments for Hiatal Hernia?

    A hiatal hernia forms when a portion of your stomach pushes through into the opening of the diaphragm (where the food pipe...

  • What Are the Causes of Hiatal Hernia?

    The Mayo Clinic states that the exact cause of a hiatal hernia is unknown, however, medical researchers have outlined several probable causes...

  • Symptoms of Hernias in Children

    Hernias occur when one of a child's organs or tissues bulges through an opening in the muscle wall. Children most often develop...

  • What Is a Hiatal Hernia?

    A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach moves up through a small opening in the diaphragm muscle into...

  • Signs & Symptoms of a Hiatal Hernia

    A hiatal hernia, also often referred to as a hiatus hernia, is a hernia of the upper gastrointestinal region. It's caused when...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!