Hiatal Hernia (cont.)
Exams and Tests
The first visit for the symptoms of hiatal hernia may warrant tests to rule out more serious or life-threatening causes first, such as heart disease.
A thorough history will be taken to determine associated symptoms, circumstances, and risk factors for various diseases. Tell the doctor about foods or activities that help or worsen the symptoms.
A complete physical exam will focus on the digestive, pulmonary (lungs), and cardiovascular (heart)
systems. A rectal exam and stool test for blood may be necessary to determine if there is bleeding from the digestive tract.
- Initial tests
(ECG) to look for electrical disturbances of the heart from disease
- Chest x-ray to look for pneumonia, collapsed lung, or other problems in the chest
- Blood tests to look for anemia, infection,
or injury to the heart, pancreas, or liver
- Other tests focusing on the cardiovascular and
pulmonary organ systems if suspicion remains high for problems in these areas
- Possible follow-up tests
- Barium swallow or
upper GI x-ray series may be performed by a radiologist (you
drinks some contrast material, and x-rays are taken).
- Endoscopy may be performed by a gastroenterologist.
A long fiberoptic scope is passed through the mouth and into the stomach
looking for an ulcer, tumor, or other tissue damage. Sometimes a biopsy is needed.
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Must Read Articles Related to Hiatal Hernia
Acid Reflux Disease (GERD)
Acid reflux (GERD) is caused by acid backing up from the stomach. Causes of acid reflux include smoking, obesity, alcohol, medications, diet, and other medical ...learn more >>
Barium swallow is a test used to determine causes of painful or difficulty swallowing, and diseases such as GERD, hiatal hernia, ulcers, dysphagia, tumors, or p...learn more >>
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) FAQs
Acid reflux (GERD) is caused by lifestyle factors (alcohol, obesity), medication, diet, medical conditions, and eating habits. Symptoms of acid reflux (GERD) in...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Hiatal Hernia: