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Athletic woman with abdominal pain.

An epigastric hernia can be a congenital condition, meaning it was present at birth, or an acquired condition from health or lifestyle. These hernias involve a weakness in the abdominal muscles that allow tissue to push through the abdominal wall. An epigastric hernia can seem to appear and disappear with changes in abdominal pressure, but it will not heal on its own. At Core Surgical, our hernia specialists offer advanced options in epigastric hernia treatment at our medical center in Midtown Manhattan.

Causes and Symptoms of Epigastric Hernias

Epigastric hernias can be at present at birth and noticeable when an infant is crying, coughing or is having a bowel movement. In adults, it is often an acquired condition caused by too much pressure on the abdominal wall that creates a weak area. Contributing factors include obesity, constipation, pregnancy or having ascites.

Many epigastric hernias are very small with only a small opening in the abdominal wall. These small hernias may only allow the peritoneum or lining to bulge through the opening. In most cases, the hernia only is noticeable when there is abdominal pressure caused by crying, bowel movements or straining the abdomen. Diagnosis is fairly simple with these types of hernia as they can usually be seen or felt during a physical exam. Many epigastric hernias have few or no symptoms, but symptoms can include:

  • Bump in the abdomen above belly button but below the sternum
  • Bump can be present constantly or only protrude when coughing, crying or with abdominal strain
  • Pain or tenderness near the hernia (not all epigastric hernias cause pain)
  • Blocked bowels causing vomiting or fever – requires emergency medical care

Epigastric hernias may not cause pain or discomfort, but they can lead to serious health issues. The only epigastric hernia treatment is surgery, but the prognosis is good when it is performed by one of our hernia surgery specialists. To schedule a consultation and exam for an epigastric hernia condition, contact Core Surgical in NYC today to schedule your appointment.

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