Medical Q&As

Hiatus hernia - surgery indicated?

I suffer from a hiatus hernia. I am in my mid-thirties and planning on starting a family soon. Would you advise me to have surgery on my hernia before getting pregnant? If not will the hernia pose me many problems during pregnancy and childbirth?

The only people who can advise you on the advisability of surgery in your particular case are the doctors who are currently looking after you. Most cases of hiatus hernia continue to be treated by medical rather than surgical means. Surgery tends to be reserved for the more severe cases of hiatus hernia. Your hernia may be of a size that medical treatment would be the preferred option. However, I can reassure you that a non-surgically treated hiatus hernia does not pose a risk to you or your future unborn child. You might experience an increase in heartburn due to increasing pressure within the abdomen from the expanding womb but this would not constitute a risk to the baby. Your question illustrates that there is a rarely a “one size fits all” form of treatment in medicine. Treatment plans are usually tailored to the individual patient.