A woman engaging in a consultation with a doctor Medical Conditions
Hiatus hernia

A hiatus hernia is a common condition where the upper part of the stomach is able to slide through the diaphragm into the chest. It is more common as people get older and when there is increased pressure in the abdominal cavity (eg. pregnancy, obesity, straining to pass bowel motions or urine, chronic cough).

For many people it will cause no problems and will be identified during investigation for other problems. For others it is associated with an increased risk of gastro-oesophageal reflux and may present with symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, reflux or belching (see Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease).
In general symptoms from a hiatus hernia can be managed with lifestyle measures and acid-lowering treatment. Occasionally selected patients benefit from surgery to reduce the hernia.

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