Hiatal Hernia And Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Surgery

Millions of individuals in the United States and around the world are overweight or obese (severely overweight). When weight increases to an extreme level, it is called morbid obesity. Obesity is associated with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, some types of cancer, and other medical problems. Bariatrics is the field of medicine that specializes in treating obesity. Bariatric surgery is the term for operations to help promote weight loss. Bariatric surgical procedures are only considered for people with severe obesity and not for individuals with a mild weight problem.

Hiatal Hernia as an Obesity-Related Condition

Hiatal Hernia is often an obesity-related health condition. Excess weight weakens and overloads the valve at the top of the stomach, which then allows stomach acid to escape into the esophagus. This is called gastroesophageal reflux, and "heartburn" and acid indigestion are common symptoms. Approximately 10-15% of patients with even mild heartburn develop Barrett's esophagus, which is a pre-malignant change in the lining membrane and a cause of esophageal cancer.

If obesity is deemed the cause of a hiatal hernia, then that should be tackled first in a program of improvement. However, it is sensible to gather as much information as possible on Hiatal Hernia as well. Visit the home page of this site to read the recommended resources on hiatal hernia and related symptoms.