Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A hiatal hernia is often discovered during a test or procedure to determine the cause of heartburn or chest or upper abdominal pain. Such tests or procedures include:

  • Blood testing. Your doctor may recommend a complete blood count to check for anemia due to blood loss.
  • An esophagram (barium swallow). During this procedure, you drink a chalky liquid containing barium that coats your upper digestive tract. This provides a clear silhouette of your esophagus, stomach and the upper part of your small intestine (duodenum) on an X-ray.
  • Endoscopy. During an endoscopy exam, your doctor passes a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light and video camera (endoscope) down your throat and into your esophagus and stomach to check for inflammation.
  • Manometry. During this test, a thin, pressure-sensitive tube (catheter) is passed through your nose, down through the esophagus and into the stomach. The catheter then measures pressure and movement inside the esophagus.
Feb. 03, 2015