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.
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.
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