A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper portion of the stomach pushes through an opening in the diaphragm and into the chest. This commonly results in painful acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms. Typically, a hiatal hernia can be treated with medication, but in many cases, a surgical option is the only surefire way to achieve relief.
If you’re looking for a hiatal hernia surgeon in Tampa, look no further than Whalen Clark, M.D., of the Florida Medical Clinic. His individualized approach to patient care ensures that every patient receives access to the treatment that best fits their needs. Under his care, you don’t need to be anxious about your hiatal hernia. Dr. Clark can help you get on the path to recovery without the need for an extensive hospitalization. You’re sure to have many questions regarding the before and after of hiatal hernia surgery in Tampa, which is why we’re here to discuss what you can expect with Dr. Clark at the helm of your procedure.
Choose the Minimally Invasive Option
There are two main types of hiatal hernia surgery: open and minimally invasive. Open procedures utilize a single, long incision that often leads to excessive bleeding and scarring. Afterwards, patients are often met with significant discomfort, which is one of the main reasons why Dr. Clark performs minimally invasive hiatal hernia surgery to relieve patients of their symptoms without a stressful recovery.
In fact, Dr. Clark performs this procedure, known as laparoscopic fundoplication, using the da Vinci® robotics system. By doing so, he is afforded unparalleled surgical accuracy, allowing him to rectify your hiatal hernia while limiting complications and maintaining patient comfort. Best of all, you can return to light activity in as little as one or two weeks, with a full recovery taking anywhere from four to eight weeks.
Preparing for Your Hiatal Hernia Surgery
Before your hiatal hernia surgery in Tampa, Dr. Clark will meet with you to discuss how you can prepare for a successful surgery. While these suggestions may vary depending on the particulars of your condition, common tips include:
- Walk 2-3 miles per day in the time leading up to your surgery
- Perform various breathing exercises throughout the day
- Quit smoking for a month before surgery
- Refrain from taking clopidogrel (Plavix) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) the week before surgery
- Stop eating and drinking 12 hours before surgery
After Your Hiatal Hernia Surgery
Typically, patients are back on their feet in one or two weeks following a laparoscopic fundoplication, assuming they follow their surgeon’s instructions and don’t aggravate the surgical site. Closely follow your medical provider’s advice regarding medication and keep the incision clean by washing it with soap and warm water daily. You don’t want to submerge the incision for a long period of time, so avoid baths, pools, and hot tubs at all costs. It’s also important to be gentle with the wound, otherwise it could lead to an infection. During your recovery, your diet will be limited to foods that don’t stretch your stomach. That means breaking meals into smaller portions and eating more frequently. If you eat three meals a day, slice those portions in half and spread them out over six meals, and avoid all of the following:
- Drinking with a straw
- Foods that can cause gas (i.e., corn, beans, cabbage, and cauliflower)
- Carbonated drinks
- Tomato products
Once the pain subsides and you’ve confirmed with a hiatal hernia surgeon in Tampa that you are fully recovered, you can get back to doing what you love and loving what you do. It’s that simple. Minimally invasive hiatal hernia surgery has helped countless people overcome their gastrointestinal pain. Why wait when you could be experiencing a pain-free lifestyle in as little as 4-8 weeks?
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