How a rolling hiatus hernia is formed

This animation will show how a hiatus hernia
forms. There are two types of hiatus hernia: sliding and rolling. This animation focuses
on the less common type – a rolling hiatus hernia. Click the navigation arrows below
the animation screen to play, pause, rewind or fast-forward the animation. This animation
contains sound. Your oesophagus (the pipe that goes from your mouth to your stomach)
passes into your stomach through a hole (hiatus) in your diaphragm. Normally, the stomach is
situated completely below the diaphragm, as shown here. The oesophageal sphincter acts
like a one-way valve to stop the acid that’s produced in your stomach to break down food
from flowing up into your oesophagus. Here we show the valve opening and closing. In
a rolling hiatus hernia, the top part of the stomach pushes through the opening in the
diaphragm. This type of hernia is relatively rare. A hiatus hernia can prevent the oesophageal
sphincter from closing properly. If this happens, acid from the stomach can pass into the oesophagus
and cause discomfort known as heartburn. However, often hiatus hernias don’t cause any symptoms.
With rolling hiatus hernias, there’s a risk that the herniated part of the stomach can
become trapped in the chest cavity with its blood supply cut off. This can cause part
of the stomach tissue to die off, as we show here. Sometimes, sliding and rolling hiatus
hernias are present at the same time. This is known as a mixed hernia. This is the end
of the animation. Click on the animation screen to watch it again.

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