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Definition of Hiatal

Hiatal: Pertaining to an hiatus, an opening.

An hiatal hernia occurs when a part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm at the opening where the esophagus normally passes through the diaphragm.

"Hiatus" in Latin means an opening.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=12092
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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