Are there different types of hiatal hernias?
Hiatal hernias are categorized as being either sliding or para-esophageal. Sliding hiatal hernias Sliding hiatal hernias, the most common type of hernia, are those in which the junction of the esophagus and stomach, referred to as the gastro-esophageal junction, and part of the stomach protrude into the chest. The junction may reside permanently in the chest, but often it juts into the chest only during a swallow. This occurs because with each swallow the muscle of the esophagus contracts causing the esophagus to shorten and to pull up the stomach. When the swallow is finished, the herniated part of the stomach falls back into the abdomen. Para-esophageal hernias are hernias in which the gastro-esophageal junction stays where it belongs (attached at the level of the diaphragm), but part of the stomach passes or bulges into the chest beside the esophagus. The para- esophageal hernias themselves remain in the chest at all times and are not affected by swallows. Para-esophageal hiatal her