Usually asymptomatic, complications and conditions related to paraesophageal hernia can produce the painful symptoms that require surgery. Patients can live with hiatal hernia as long as it doesn’t cause problems.
Hiatal hernia comes in two types, the sliding hernia and the paraesophageal hernia. The sliding hernia is the less serious of the hiatal hernia types and usually doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort.
Serious Conditions Related to Paraesophageal Hernia
For paraesophageal hernia in particular, the stomach can become strangulated or constructed by the hiatus. This cuts off or decreases the blood flow to the area of stomach tissue stuck in the chest cavity.
Surgery is needed immediately to repair the hernia or the tissue could die from loss of blood. In fact, if doctors notice an asymptomatic paraesophageal hernia is in danger of becoming strangulated, they may recommend preventative surgery.
Symptomatic Conditions Related to Paraesophageal Hernia
Many times, the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) mirror the symptoms of paraesophageal hernia. Doctors have not found a connection between the two conditions yet, but through research, they may find a connection between these conditions.