The management of hiatal hernia: an update on diagnosis and treatment
Background and aim. Hiatal hernia (HH) occurs quite frequently in the general population and is characterized by a wide range of non-specific symptoms, most of them related to gastroesophageal reflux disease. Treatment can be challenging at times, depending on the existence of complications. The most recent guideline regarding the management of hiatal hernia was released by the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) in the year 2013. This review aims to present the most recent updates on the diagnosis and management of hiatal hernia for clinical practitioners.
Methods. The PubMed database was screened for publications using the terms: “hiatal hernia”, “paraesophageal hernia”, “management”, “treatment”, “hiatal repair”. A literature review of contemporary and latest studies was completed. The studies that we looked into include prospective, randomized trials, systematic reviews, clinical reviews and original articles. The information was compiled in narrative review format.
Results. This narrative review presents new data on the diagnosis and management of hiatal hernia. While the diagnostic pathway has remained virtually unchanged, new data have come to light regarding the surgical treatment of hiatal hernia. We present the imaging methods used for its diagnosis, as well as the medical and surgical treatment currently available.
Conclusions. In the last five years, there has been vast research in the field of hiatal hernia management, especially regarding the surgical treatment. However, unanswered questions still remain and solid updates on the guidelines have yet to be formulated. To address this, more randomized studies need to be done on subsets of patients, stratified by age, gender, symptoms and comorbidities.