Hiatal Hernia Specialists

Illinois Gastroenterology Group -  - Gastroenterology

Illinois Gastroenterology Group

Gastroenterology located in Gurnee, Evanston, Skokie, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, Highland Park, & Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL

If you suffer from nausea, vomiting, and severe chest or abdominal pain that doesn’t go away with regular treatments, you may have a hiatal hernia. At Illinois Gastroenterology Group, the expert board-certified specialists know how to recognize and treat hiatal hernias as well as the symptoms that accompany this condition. To prevent complications and get relief from heartburn, call the office in Gurnee, Evanston, Skokie, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, Highland Park, & Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois, or use the online scheduler to book an appointment today.

Hiatal Hernia Q & A

What is Hiatal Hernia?

A hiatal hernia is when the upper part of your stomach pushes past the hiatal opening in your diaphragm and protrudes into your chest. The diaphragm is a thin muscle that separates your chest and abdomen. 

If you develop a hiatal hernia, it allows food and stomach acid to go back up into your esophagus, leading to heartburn and its related symptoms. 

What are the Symptoms of a Hiatal Hernia?

A small hiatal hernia usually has no symptoms. In fact, you may not even know you have one until your doctor performs a routine exam or checks for another condition. 

If your hiatal hernia is more severe, it allows stomach acid to enter up into your esophagus. This can cause symptoms like:

  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation of food or liquid
  • Problems swallowing 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting blood
  • Black colored stool


Patients over the age of 50 or those who struggle with obesity are more likely to develop hiatal hernias. Hiatal hernias are also a leading cause of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If you notice these symptoms, see a specialist at Illinois Gastroenterology Group right away.

How is a Hiatal Hernia Diagnosed?

Most cases of hiatal hernia show up during a test to determine the cause of heartburn or upper abdominal pain. Illinois Gastroenterology Group uses X-rays or endoscopy procedures to determine the cause of your heartburn. 

What are the Treatments for Hiatal Hernia?

Once your doctor confirms your hiatal hernia, they prescribe the appropriate treatment. If your hiatal hernia is small, you may not have any symptoms and require no treatment. They can also help you manage mild symptoms with lifestyle and dietary changes.

However, if your case is more advanced, and you have symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux, Illinois Gastroenterology Group can suggest one or a combination of:

  • Antacids: Antacids can provide quick relief from acid reflux.
  • Medication to Reduce Acid Production: H-2 receptor blockers work to reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces to reduce the acid that can enter your esophagus and cause heartburn.
  • Medication to Block Acid Production and Heal the Esophagus: Your doctor may prescribe a proton pump inhibitor, which is stronger than an H-2 receptor blocker. This type of medication stops acid production and gives your esophagus tissue more time to heal.
  • Surgery: For severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to pull your stomach down and make your hiatus smaller, reconstruct your esophageal sphincter, or remove the hernia sac.


If you have persistent acid reflux and suspect a hiatal hernia, call or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation at Illinois Gastroenterology Group right away.