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diaphragmatic hernia? or hiatal hernia?

I recently had a chest xray when i was at the doctor (i've had a cold for 2 weeks). during the xray, he said that my left diaphragm was higher than it should be. I went for a CT scan (thoracic) and just got the results.

i was told that i have a 'small hernia in my diaphragm'.

Is this the same thing as a hiatal hernia? or are there different types?

i have to go see a thoracic surgeon next, but i wanted to get an idea of what i'm dealing with.

I have no syptoms that would have ever lead me to believe that something was wrong in this area. No acid reflux, no pain, no digestive problems.

how serious is this? and can the surgery be done laproscopicly?

i am overweight...and i know that is a risk factor. But they also mentioned to me that it could be a birth defect?

thanks so much for your help!
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233190 tn?1278553401
A diaphragmatic hernia differs from a hiatal hernia.  Respiratory problems and symptoms can arise from this.  There is indeed a congenital component in these cases.  

Depending on the size and location, most of these cases needs to be surgically corrected.  The severity would depend on how far advanced the hernia is.  

Whether the procedure can be done laparoscopically would again depend on the size, location and skill of the surgical team.  

I would discuss these options with your personal physician, or in conjunction with another surgical opinion.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
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