Innovative Treatment Options Tailored to the Patient

The Hoag-USC Surgical Center for Digestive Disorders is a high-volume referral center for complex gastroesophageal disorders. Hoag’s multidisciplinary team of esophageal experts works together to thoroughly review and determine the best treatment option suited to each individual patient. The team then carefully tailors a personalized treatment plan to effectively achieve the best possible outcome for the patient. This emphasis on a collaborative, comprehensive approach to patient-centered care is why Hoag patient outcomes rank are among the nation’s best.

Since hiatal hernias do not usually cause problems themselves, but instead often contribute to acid reflux, the treatment for patients with hiatal hernias is usually centered upon treating GERD, and may include one or more of the following:

Medication Therapy

For individuals experiencing acid reflux as a result of their hiatal hernia, prescription oral medications may be recommended to ease symptoms, such as: Antacids to neutralize stomach acid, medications that reduce acid production, and/or medications that block acid production and help to heal the esophagus.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to medications to treat GERD, there are several lifestyle changes that can help to ease the symptoms associated with a hiatal hernia, including weight loss, smoking cessation, dietary changes, reducing pressure on the abdomen, and elevating the head of the bed to reduce heartburn.


Sometimes a hiatal hernia requires surgery, if symptoms are severe and are not responsive to other more conservative treatments. Surgery is also necessary in emergency situations, such as when a hernia is causing an obstruction, or is at risk for twisting and cutting off the blood supply to the stomach.

Surgical treatment for hiatal hernias varies and may involve pulling the stomach down into the abdomen and making the opening in the diaphragm smaller; reconstructing a weak esophageal sphincter; or removing the hernia sac. In some cases, this is done using a single incision in the chest wall (thoracotomy) or abdomen (laparotomy). In most cases, the surgery is performed laparoscopically by inserting a tiny camera and special surgical tools through several small incisions in the abdomen. This minimally invasive approach allows the surgeon to view high definition images from inside the body while performing complex surgery. This minimally invasive approach also allows for a shorter hospital stay, less pain and quicker recovery.

Hiatal hernia surgery is often combined with surgery for gastroesophageal reflux disease, particularly if the patient’s GERD is severe, complicated, or unresponsive to medication therapy. During this procedure, the hiatal hernia is eliminated, and part of the upper stomach is wrapped around the lower sphincter to augment the pressure at the sphincter and further prevent acid reflux. Alternatively, the LINX Reflux Management System may be used after the hernia has been repaired.

[Q: Is LINX used to treat GERD associated with hiatal hernia? Yes See Above]

The Most Advanced Treatment Options Are Now Available in Orange County!

When it comes to seeking out the most advanced academic-level gastroesophageal care, there is no longer any need to travel long distances. The Hoag Digestive Disease Center, in alliance with USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, offers the latest in state-of-the-art diagnosis and leading-edge treatment options that may not be readily available at other centers, including participation in clinical trials that helps to bring advanced gastroesophageal care to even more patients.

Perhaps the most distinguishing aspect of Hoag’s advanced treatment of gastroesophageal conditions is that in each and every case, treatment is always specifically tailored to the meet the unique needs of the individual patient.

Expert Care You Can Trust!

The Hoag Digestive Disease Center, in alliance with USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, continues to lead the way in complex gastroesophageal care, providing access to a highly specialized surgical team that works collaboratively with Hoag-affiliated thoracic surgeons, gastroenterologists and other medical specialists to provide academic-level care. Hoag’s committed to accurate diagnosis, combined with progressive therapeutic options enables Hoag patients to achieve some of the highest clinical outcomes in the nation.

To schedule a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, or a second-opinion consultation with a Hoag gastroesophageal expert, visit Meet the Team, or call us at: 888-566-9712.