Sunday, January 15, 2006

hernia, hiatal

Hiatal hernia is the protrusion of the stomach through the diaphragm into the chest. The development of hiatal hernia is associated with old age, obesity, chronic illness, straining with bowel movements, and wearing of tight belts and garments.
Symptoms of hiatal hernia include difficulty swallowing, heartburn, acid vomiting, spitting up blood, and regurgitation when stooping, lying flat, or eating a large meal. Treatment for hiatal hernia is frequently conservative and may include the use of antacids, sleeping with the head elevated with either pillows or by elevating the head of the bed, and avoiding stooping or bending over. In people who are obese, weight loss may give symptomatic relief.
Avoidance of tight garments, eating small bland meals, and not reclining immediately after eating may also be helpful.
Barium swallow and esophagoscopy are useful in confirming the presence of a hiatal hernia. Surgical correction is rarely required unless disabling symptoms or complications arise.
See also HERNIA.
Phipps, W. J. Essentials of Medical-Surgical Nursing. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby Co., 1985. Scherer, J. C. Introductory Medical-Surgical Nursing, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1982.
Steinberg, F. U. Care of the Geriatric Patient. 6th ed. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby Co., 1983.

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