Disorders of the Diaphragm Treatments

Treatments for disorders of the diaphragm vary depending on the type of disorder, but they can include a variety of surgical options. Treatments for each type of disorder include:

  • Congenital (present at birth) diaphragmatic hernia (CDH):
    • Emergency surgery to place the abdominal organs back in the abdomen and repair the diaphragm
  • Acquired diaphragmatic hernia (ADH):
    • Emergency surgery to repair the diaphragm
  • Hiatal hernia: 
    • Lifestyle changes, including avoiding certain foods, losing weight, raising the head of the bed and avoiding tight-fitting clothes
    • Medications, including antacids and proton pump inhibitors
    • Surgery to retract the stomach and make the opening in your diaphragm smaller, reconstruct the esophageal sphincter or remove the hernia
  • Diaphragmatic tumor:
    • Surgical resection (removal)
    • Chemotherapy or radiation therapy, if it is cancerous
  • Paralysis of the diaphragm:
    • Watchful waiting, if symptoms are not severe
    • Supplemental oxygen
    • Surgically implanted diaphragmatic pacemaker
    • Tracheostomy and mechanical ventilator