Hiatal hernia, what happens after the surgery?

Written by: Dr. José María Raventós Negra
Published: | Updated: 15/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

In a previous article we talked about what is the reflux and what is a hiatal hernia operation?. In this second part, he details how post-operative is, one of the aspects of this surgery that most concerns patients.

A patient who must undergo the operation of the Hiatal Hernia, usually, will enter the same day of the intervention and preoperatively the preoperative tests will have been performed previously . You must be fasting 8 hours before the intervention that is performed under general anesthesia. After the operation you will remain in the postoperative resuscitation unit until you are fully awake.

In a very small number of cases, laparoscopic technique is not possible. This may be due to the difficulty of a correct visualization or in the management of the organs. Some factors that increase the possibility of having to convert laparoscopic surgery into open surgery are obesity or the history of previous abdominal surgery that causes adhesions or bleeding during the operation. The decision to perform conventional open surgery resides with the surgeon before or during surgery and is a measure to preserve the patient's health.


Side effects and risks


Most patients who undergo surgery are free of the previous symptoms of reflux and side effects are scarce. Some patients have swallowing difficulty that usually resolves spontaneously in a few weeks. Other patients report difficulty in belching or vomiting with a feeling of fullness. It is also strange that patients show little improvement in their reflux.

This surgery is considered as little dangerous and complications can rarely occur such as:

- Adverse reactions to anesthesia

- Bleeding

- Lesion of the esophagus, spleen or stomach

- Wound infection

It is important to discuss the risks and alternatives beforehand with the surgeon, it may happen that the risk of the surgery is less than the conservative treatment.

Diet and care

The diet starts a few hours after the intervention and increases progressively. Occasionally it is necessary to perform a radiological transit test before starting the diet. Although postoperative pain is usually mild, some patients require analgesic medication.

Hospital admission is usually 48 hours. Once at home, the patient is advised to perform a light activity and after a week can begin to perform a normal activity, walking, working, driving etc.

Once the doctor indicates that the antacid medication is stopped, it is not necessary to control the patient in the consultation until after 8 to 14 days.

When to turn to your surgeon?

- If you have a fever of over 38ºC or chills.

- Yes you have bleeding or discharge of "pus" from a wound

- Redness and progressive swelling around a wound

- Increase in volume or progressive distension of the abdomen. Pain that does not calm with the analgesics that have been prescribed

- Difficulty breathing or persistent cough

- Persistent difficulty swallowing or drinking liquids


Surgical Associated Surgeons


*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. José María Raventós Negra

Dr. José Mª Raventós has a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the Universities of Barcelona (1975) and Minnesota (1979). Specialized in general, digestive and endocrine surgery at the Mayo Clinic (United States, 1978-1982). In his daily practice he gives a particular dedication to surgery of the thyroid and parathyroid glands and other endocrine glands as well as in advanced laparoscopic surgery: gallbladder, appendix, colon, liver, spleen, adrenal gland.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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