As it has already been mentioned in another section, hiatal hernia is the condition in which part of the stomach slides within the chest.
Gastric reflux is the condition in which the valve mechanism between the esophagus and the stomach is disrupted and acidic gastric juices regurgitate into the esophagus creating belching, heartburn and difficulties in shallowing.
When all the conservative measures fail (change of lifestyle, medication), laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication takes place. The operation is performed through 5 small holes. The gastroesophageal junction is restored to its correct anatomical position, the diaphragm opening is sutured and the upper part of the stomach called fundus is rotated around the esophagus so as an artificial valve mechanism to be created.
Laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair outbalances the open procedure as:
- A large incision in the abdomen is avoided, thus less postoperative pain
- There is less blood loss intraoperatively
- Potential infections and post-operative complications are reduced
- The hospitalization is reduced to 2 to 3 days
- There is a faster recovery and the patient returns to his normal activities in 1 to 2 weeks.