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Hiatus Hernia Claims
If you have suffered from a hiatus hernia and believe this was either caused or exacerbated by medical error, you are entitled to compensation and the clinical negligence team at JMW is here to help you make a successful claim. We are highly experienced in this area of law and can provide the legal guidance you need to give yourself the very best chance of securing the outcome you are hoping for.
Find out more about how JMW can assist with your hiatus hernia claim by contacting us today. Call us on 0800 054 6512 or complete our online enquiry form and we will give you a call at a time that is convenient for you.
The chest and abdominal cavities are separated by a large flat muscle called the diaphragm. A hiatus hernia commonly occurs when the oesophagus (gullet) passes through the diaphragm on its way to the stomach. This opening sometimes becomes enlarged, allowing a pouch of the stomach to slide upwards and become trapped.
The majority of hiatus hernias are initially small. However, if left untreated they can become large and occasionally the whole stomach (and other abdominal organs) can slide up into the chest cavity.
There are two types of hiatus hernia:
- Sliding hiatus hernia - This is a hernia, typically in the chest, that moves up and down
- Para-oesophageal hiatus hernias - This is a hernia that involves part of the stomach being pushed up through the hole in the diaphragm next to the oesophagus
A hiatus hernia is usually treated without surgery using dietary measures (small frequent meals), weight reduction and drugs. However, larger hernias generally require surgical repair, allowing room for errors to be made by medical professionals, which can result in a longer period of recovery and unnecessary time off work.
A small hiatus hernia may be symptom-free and even fairly large ones are sometimes only picked up on a routine X-ray. However, typical symptoms of hiatus hernia include:
- Excess stomach gas
- Chest pain (sometimes mistaken for a heart attack)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Regurgitation of food
- Shortness of breath
A hiatus hernia can also lead to a condition called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), which involves stomach acid leaking into the oesophagus. If a hiatus hernia prevents the valve at the bottom of the oesophagus from functioning as it should, GORD can be an after-effect of this.
Anyone can be affected from a hiatus hernia; however, those who are most likely to experience it include:
- People over the age of 50
- Pregnant women
- Overweight people
Repair of a hiatus hernia is a common operation that can be performed either through an upper abdominal incision, or via laparoscopy (key-hole surgery). The laparoscopic approach has become more and more common over the past few years and generally has very good results.
The procedure involves the sac of the hernia being pulled back down into the abdominal cavity and the defect in the diaphragm repaired with an artificial mesh. This mesh is perfectly safe and has been used in surgical procedures for many years.
If this treatment goes wrong and causes you injury, you may be able to claim compensation for clinical negligence.
The team at JMW is highly experienced in claims regarding hiatus hernias and we can help you put together the strongest possible case to make sure you secure all of the compensation to which you are entitled.
Headed by leading clinical negligence solicitor Eddie Jones, the team at JMW is highly regarded throughout the UK and includes members of the Law Society's specialist panel for clinical negligence the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors panel.