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Hiatal Hernia

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Hiatal Hernia Definition

Definition

A hiatal hernia is a condition in which the upper part of the stomach moves up through a small opening in the diaphragm into the chest. The diaphragm is the muscular wall that separates the abdominal cavity from the chest cavity.

Diaphragm

Diaphragm
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

The different types of hiatal hernias include:

  • Sliding hiatal hernia—the most common type in which the herniated part of the stomach slides back and forth, into and out of the chest
  • Fixed hiatal hernia—the upper part of the stomach permanently remains in the chest
  • Complicated hiatal hernia—Several other types of stomach herniation may be seen. These are uncommon but more serious and may require surgery.

Hiatal Hernia

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© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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