An epigastric hernia is formed in between the sternum of the rib cage and the navel region (bellybutton) of the abdomen. It accounts for 2-3 percent of hernias formed.
It is seen in infants, children, and adults and it is fairly common. This condition often tends to go unreported, as it is asymptomatic or demonstrates only minor symptoms.
The exact cause of epigastric hernia has not been identified. They are formed when developmentally the muscles of the abdominal walls do not close completely.
Although, one theory that seems to be gaining ground is that the epigastric region where the abdominal wall attaches to the diaphragm when under stress can lead to the formation of an epigastric hernia.
The lack of information on the cause of these hernias maybe because they don't get diagnosed.
The formation of a bump or lump in the area below the sternum or just above the navel indicates an epigastric hernia. It is caused by a mass of fat that has pushed through a weakened muscle wall of the abdominal lining.
It becomes more visible while laughing, coughing, or sneezing. At a given time, there could be one or more epigastric hernias formed. In some cases, this lump may grow larger.
Epigastric hernias generally do not show any symptoms. However, few may develop tenderness and pain around the hernia formed.
Some symptoms of which cannot be neglected and need medical attention are listed as below:
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