Hiatal Hernia Support Group

Hiatus hernia or hiatal hernia is the protrusion (or hernia) of the upper part of the stomach into the thorax through a tear or weakness in the diaphragm. The symptoms include acid reflux, pains, similar to heartburn, in the chest and upper stomach. In most cases, sufferers experience no discomfort and no treatement is required.

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Hernia after gallbladder surgery

Last year I had surgery to remove my gallbladder. Due to scar tissue from prior surgery they did both a laproscopic and partial open surgery. The open incision is just right of center just below my rib cage.

Not long after surgery I noticed that the area around this incision was distended. My GP said it was fine and the incision healed nicely. Well last week I was back for a head cold and asked if this would ever go away. She told me that I had a hernia, that the incision never closed completely inside so I have a hole in the chest wall.

So it's back to the surgeon. My GP says that it's not a rush because the chance of any organs getting stuck in this opening is small. I was wondering if anyone else had this problem? Also wondering what I might have done wrong during my recovery to cause this to happen?

Replies

poorlygir4l
poorlygir4l

Hi Tigg Im sorry you have this. Well I had my gallbladder out in Oct 09 and Ive had nothing but problems since. I have a hiatus hernia and gastritis. I didn,t have reflux before then. The pain from the gastritis is horrendous when its flared up. I was also getting oesophagheal spasms. The pain from that was through the roof,morphine and in hospital overnight a few times. Anyway it looks like they can botch the surgery. I hope that you recover alright if you have another op. I can,t see it being anything you did during recovery. The one mistake I made was to stop taking my PPI tablet afterwards. I got acid rebound and all my problems started after that. Did you eat low fat foods during recovery? Some people say to do that for a bit.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I had a fantastic recovery. The stomach issues went away immediately and I was back on a normal diet within a few days.

I saw my surgeon yesterday and he says that the problem is the muscles in the chest wall didn't heal together. So I have an opening that is now larger than the one he made. And the longer I wait for repair the larger it will get and harder it will be to repair.

He gave me a few possible reasons why this happened. He says the current theory is that some people just don't produce the collagen that repairs muscle. So healing for them is very difficult. He also says that steroids can be a problem and I have been taking steroids for years for sinus problems. I also get bad allergies with lots of coughing and last summer after surgery was very bad. So my guess is that a combination of these factors is to blame.

Now I have to find out how long I should wait before having surgery. I recently had steroid injections and wonder how long that stays in the system. I was also scheduled to have facet injections for back problems but that will have to wait now.

Are you going to have the hernia repaired? I don't look forward to another surgery but the alternative is even scarier.
poorlygir4l
poorlygir4l

Hi I don,t know about the hernia as Ive been turned down to have that repaired. Im getting very bad flare ups of pain with my gastritis and some reflux. Im now on two pantoprazoles which don,t seem to be helping it. How are you?
deleted_user
deleted_user

I hope this discussion is still open since it's been a year. I had my gall bladder removed in January 2010. Ever since then I've had nothing but problems with my digestion. I burp more, have heartburn (which was non-existent before surgery), and now I'm having a constricting/tightening feeling in my upper stomach. It feels like this: if you can imagine a string of golf balls being pulled through the lower esophagus into the opening of the stomach. Pulling and pulling until one finally pops through. After that feeling of "popping through" it feels better and then starts all over again. Also I feel like I'm digesting glass/sharp objects. It feels like when you eat tortilla chips and the sharp edges poke and poke as it's going down.

Upon looking at photos of what a hiatal hernia is, it seems to describe exactly what and where I'm feeling the pain. Is this what you all are feeling? Any advice will help tremendously!