What is a Hiatal Hernia?

A hiatal hernia occurs when some portion of the stomach ends up going through the diaphragm — a muscle that maintains the separation between the abdomen and the lungs and chest — causing that portion of the stomach to protrude into the chest cavity. This is a fairly common issue that is not restricted to specific age groups, though risk factors include smoking, obesity, chronic constipation or cough, heavy lifting, and hereditary factors. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, dull chest pains, heart palpitations, and acid reflux.

How Can We Help?

Many patients experience no symptoms or discomfort of any kind, which means that treatment is usually not required. In some severe cases that involve chronic acid reflux, surgery can be required, but even symptomatic patients can usually have the issue treated with non-surgical remedies such as weight loss and following stress-reduction techniques, depending on the cause of the hernia.

Who to Contact

With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Charlie Jones and Dr. Susan Hagen are among the top vascular surgeons in Colorado. To make an appointment, please call 303-443-2123.