Epigastric Hernia: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

Epigastric hernia is can be quite painful in comparison of other hernias. Read to know about its causes, symptoms, treatment and diagnosis methods.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalUpdated at: Sep 10, 2021 18:55 IST
Epigastric Hernia: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

Hernia is a painful and troublesome condition that affects the person inside out. It occurs on when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle. This creates a bulge on the part of the body where hernia has occurred. Hernia can happen at different places on your body. The most common region for hernia to occur is between chest and groin region. Epigastric hernia is also a type of hernia that is caused in the abdominal region. This can cause several problems and discomfort in your body. The lumps created in the abdominal wall can be quite painful and restrain you from doing general activities. Today we will look at different factors affects epigastric hernia, its causes and symptoms.

Epigastric Hernia

We have Dr. Prashant Sagar, General Surgeon from BNK Hospital, Kochi to help us know about Epigastric Hernia. He says epigastric hernia is caused by lump formation in the upper portion of the abdominal wall. This is called epigastrium area, it is found in the area below the breastbone as well. Hernia of this type can vary in different sizes and as the size increase, pain will also increase. Hence patients who suffer from this disease should make sure that they get their hernia diagnosed properly so that adequate treatment can be started soon. Hernia that are big in size can also cause fatty tissue which creates much more problem while treatment.  


What Causes Epigastric Hernia?

An epigastric hernia can be present from the birth or can be caused due to muscle weakness. If you have weakness or muscles problems from very beginning, this hernia can tend to occur. It is caused because of incomplete closure of abdominal tissue inside the wall. People with certain health issues or during a particular period can have more changes of have epigasrtic hernia.

Here are some conditions that can alleviate chances of epigastric hernia-

  • Obesity
  • Heavy lifting 
  • Coughing fits 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Physical labour or intense work
  • Intensive exercises, sports and training schedules

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Symptoms of Epigastric Hernia

Even though hernia is usually visible and there is evident lump formation. It can be mistaken for some other health disorder or another type of hernia. Therefore here are some symptoms that you need to know which can be signs of epgastric hernia. 

In initial stages, there are no as such symptoms but as it grows inside your body, it causes these symptoms-

  • Pain
  • Tenderness 
  • Abdominal bump
  • Lump formation
  • Problems related to bowel movements


Diagnosis of Epigastric Hernia

Epigastric hernia can be diagnosed by physical examination by a physician or a specialised doctor. There are few things are kept under observation to diagnose your epigastric hernia. First is your family history, your medical history and list of symptoms that you have. 

After this initial examination, doctor presses your abdomen to check the size of hernia. Once he gets a general idea and confirms epigastric hernia. Then the patient is sent for CT scan or abdominal ultrasound to find out other complications or detailed condition of Hernia.

Epigastric hernia is an incarcerated hernia that means that it is bulged in the outer section of the abdominal wall. It requires medical attention and treatment soon to avoid complex situations. If this hernia does not get adequate blood supply, it can cause tissue damage as well.

Treatment for Epigastric Hernia

This type of hernia does not heal by itself and needs medical help. There is only one way to treat this problem and that is through surgery. In this type of hernia, it is not tried to reduce symptoms because there is always a risk of tissue damage associated with it, especially in case of large hernia.

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Surgery of Epigastric Hernia

A surgery is carried out by giving general anaesthesia. Surgeon makes an incision in hernia that is necessary to operate the issue. Then a laparoscope is inserted into it with a thin tube that allow light to pass through abdominal organs. Then another incision is made by the surgeon in order to put other surgical instruments. 

Gradually the surgeon operates the hernia sac that gets pushed out to the correct position. It strengthens the abdominal wall. Then the surgeon fixes and stitches up the incision made with permanent stitches. This prevents hernia to push through abdominal muscles again.

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