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A hernia is a general term for a hole in your abdominal wall caused by a weak spot. Epigastric hernia is a type of hernia in the epigastric region of the abdominal wall. Above the belly button and just below the sternum of the rib cage.

This type of hernia is quite common in both adults and children. About 2 to 3 percent of all abdominal hernias are epigastric hernias. It is also seen in infants.

Most of the time, the patient will have no or only minor symptoms with an epigastric hernia.

Symptoms of Epigastric Hernia

An epigastric hernia causes a lump to form, usually in the area below your breastbone and above your belly button.This lump is caused by a mass of fat passing through the hernia.The raised area can be seen all the time or only when you cough, sneeze, or laugh. This lump or mass can get bigger and bigger in some cases. You can have more than one epigastric hernia at the same time.An epigastric hernia can also cause tenderness and pain in the epigastric region. However, it is common for an epigastric hernia to not cause any symptoms.

Causes of Epigastric Hernia

An epigastric hernia can occur when the tissues in the abdominal wall do not completely close during development. Research continues to look for specific causes of this type of hernia. Not much is known about epigastric hernias because they have not been reported many times, possibly due to the absence of symptoms. However, the Trusted Source theory has gained some credibility. It is believed that when there is tension in the epigastric region where the abdominal wall attaches to the diaphragm, it can cause an epigastric hernia.

Symptoms of Epigastric Hernia

If your epigastric hernia is not treated, you should seek medical treatment immediately if you have vomiting or fever and increased abdominal pain. These may indicate intestinal obstruction.

Surgery to repair an epigastric hernia can lead to some serious complications. If you have any of the following symptoms after surgery, you should call your medical consultant as soon as possible.

High fever

Difficulty at urinating

Discharge from the surgical site

Increased pain or swelling at the surgical site

Bleeding that won't stop



What happens if epigastric hernia is not treated?

Pain and tenderness begin or increase

Intestinal obstruction

Enlarged hernia, which eventually allows portions of the intestine to pass through.

How is it treated?

This type of hernia does not go away on its own, and complications eventually lead you to surgery. Surgery is the only way to repair an epigastric hernia. It is the recommended treatment even for infants because of the risk of hernia enlargement and causing additional complications and pain.

You may only need stitches or you may need an implanted mesh to complete the repair. The use of mesh or sutures is determined by the size of the hernia and other factors.

Potential Side Effects and Risks of the Operation

As any surgial intervention, Epigastric Hernia Surgery has some potential side effects and risks as follows;



Wound infection at the surgical site

Scar left after healing

Blood clots

Development of a non-herniated lump

Chance of recurrence

Mesh infection (in case an artificial mesh is used to repair the hernia)