do hiatal hernias go away?
How long do you stay in the hospital after hiatal hernia surgery?
Can you live with a hiatal hernia without surgery?
After laparoscopic surgery, most people will not experience much pain, but they may feel discomfort in their abdomen and chest and have difficulty swallowing. This usually passes within 48 hours.
After a laparoscopy, a person may be able to go home the same day if they have recovered from the anesthetic. Otherwise, they may spend a night in the hospital and should be able to walk around the day after the surgery.
A person may soon feel well again but may find that they tire easily.
In the days after surgery, a person will usually be advised to:
. Wash the incision area daily with plain soap and water
. Shower instead of bathing, and avoid the use of pools and hot tubs
. Walk about when possible to stop blood clots from forming in the leg
. Avoid drinking through a straw
. Practice specific breathing and coughing exercises to strengthen the diaphragm
Read more about: Disc Herniation Surgery Recovery
In the weeks after surgery, we recommend the following:
. Avoiding any heavy lifting for 2 to 3 weeks
. Avoiding driving for 7 to 10 days
. Returning to work within 2 to 3 weeks, or whenever a person is feeling well enough
. Taking painkillers for several days after surgery to minimize discomfort
A person will need to follow a specific diet after surgery. It is advisable to drink clear liquids immediately after surgery and move onto soft or liquefied foods, including mashed potatoes, smoothies, and soups, the following day. A person should also avoid foods that cause gas and bloating.
During recovery, it might be a good idea for people to eat several smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large ones.
Most people can return to their regular diet between 3 to 6 weeks after surgery.
However, even after a person makes a full recovery, their doctor may recommend they continue to limit or avoid foods that contribute to gas, bloating, and acid reflux symptoms, such as:
. Acidic foods, including citrus fruits and tomato products
. Beans and lentils
. Carbonated beverages
. Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower
Open surgery will usually require a lengthier stay in the hospital and an extended recovery time.
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Aside from diet, a person could try making some lifestyle adjustments to help manage their hiatal hernia symptoms.
Lifestyle tips for treating hiatal hernia symptoms include:
. Staying hydrated
. Keeping a log of trigger foods and avoiding them
. Eating frequent, smaller snacks and meals spread throughout the day
. Eating slowly and drinking plenty of fluids with meals
. Getting enough dietary fiber
. Avoiding non-clear liquids within 3 hours before bed
. Avoiding eating before exercise
. Avoiding bending over or laying down within 3 hours of eating
. Wearing loose-fitting clothing
. Maintaining a healthy body weight
. Using a wedge pillow to elevate the head 8 to 10 inches while sleeping, making it harder for stomach acid to travel up the esophagus (food pipe).
. Quitting smoking
. Taking probiotics
. Eating whole foods instead of processed or refined foods
. Exercising moderately for at least 20 minutes daily
. Avoiding fried foods
. Using small amounts of healthful cooking oils, such as coconut, rice, and olive oil
. Avoiding being too hungry or too full
Drinking a small amount of diluted apple cider vinegar at the beginning of meals may also help reduce symptoms.
Managing stress and practicing stress-reducing strategies, such as walking, being in nature, mindfulness, meditation, or yoga, may help a person feel better.
A person can also take over-the-counter antacids, though long-term use does carry risks.