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What Is Epigastric Hernia ?

An epigastric hernia develops at the epigastrium, which is located above the navel and just below the breastbone. An epigastric hernia appears as  lumps or bulges in the top region of the abdominal wall.  Epigastric hernias are relatively common and can affect both men and women of any age. It can even be present at birth. They are often small and asymptomatic but can cause discomfort or pain if they become larger or if the contents of the hernia become trapped or incarcerated. Most cases of epigastric hernias do not exhibit symptoms. It may go unnoticed by many for the same reason. 

What Are The Main Causes Of Epigastric Hernia?

Though the exact cause of epigastric hernias is not known, certain factors such as genetics, advancing age, pregnancy, excess body weight, and heavy lighting are believed to play a role in the development of the condition. 

There can be two prominent reasons behind the cause of an epigastric hernia:

  • In Infants: An epigastric hernia may result when the tissues in the abdomen wall don't completely close during the developmental process in the uterus.
  • In Adults: It is believed that tension in the region where the epigastric part of the abdominal wall joins the diaphragm may contribute to the development of an epigastric hernia.

What Are The Symptoms Of Epigastric Hernia?

Epigastric hernias are also called reversible hernia as they have intermittent symptoms. Epigastric hernia mostly shows no symptoms. The following are some of the symptoms of epigastric hernias:

  • Pain and discomfort: Pain and tenderness in the affected area are prominent symptoms of an epigastric hernia. 
  • A noticeable bulge: A prominent and visible bulge can be felt in the epigastric region. The lump may be visible when standing or coughing but may disappear when lying down.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Some people with epigastric hernias may experience nausea and vomiting, especially if the hernia becomes incarcerated or strangulated.
  • Difficulty swallowing: Difficulty swallowing or a feeling of fullness after eating may occur in some people with epigastric hernias.
  • Heartburn or acid reflux: Epigastric hernias can also cause heartburn or acid reflux, which is a burning sensation in the chest that occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a doctor for an early diagnosis and treatment.

What Are The Treatment Options For Epigastric Hernia?

Surgery is the ultimate treatment option for hernias that are symptomatic. Here, let’s find out more about surgery for epigastric hernia:

Before the surgery: 

  • Medical History: A physical examination is used to determine the presence of epigastric hernias. A medical history, family history, and list of symptoms will be obtained by the physician. They may ask the subject to sit, lie, or stand while applying pressure on the abdomen to understand the positions of the hernia.
  • Medical History: The doctor will record your medical history which will include your current symptoms, any previous or existing illnesses, and current medications or supplement if any. 
  • Physical Examination: Your doctor will perform a physical examination in order to check for the bulge. They may ask the subject to sit, lie, or stand while applying pressure on the abdomen to understand the positions of the hernia.
  • Diagnostic Tests: To confirm the diagnosis your doctor may prescribe certain imaging tests such as CT scans or MRIs.

During the surgery

  • Depending on the patient's preferences and the surgeon's recommendation, the surgical repair procedure may be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia.
  • Next, your doctor will make an incision near the hernia through which a laparoscope (a narrow tube with a light and camera) will be inserted. This instrument will thus help your surgeon examine the internal organs.
  • Few more small incisions would be placed in the target area in order to insert the surgical instruments. 
  • The hernia sac, or the portion of the tissue that is pushed out, will be moved back to its original position, after which the opening in the muscle wall will be closed with the help of sutures. 
  • Your surgeon may also place a surgical mesh within the muscle wall in order to strengthen it. 
  • Finally, a waterproof dressing is used to cover the surgical site. 

After the surgery:

  • It's fairly common to experience some postoperative stomach pain, discomfort, edema, and bruising. 
  • For the first 48 hours, Doctor will prescribe you some painkillers to counter the discomfort.
  • It is critical to consume adequate fiber and drink enough water as it will help avoid constipation which can lead to unwanted complications. 
  • In most cases, the doctor will remove your dressings within 5 to 10 days once the wound is healed properly.
  • The majority of patients can go back to work 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.

[Note: Not all patients will undergo laparoscopic surgery, which is a minimally invasive surgical technique. Some individuals might require open surgery depending on the severity of their symptoms. However, your surgeon will take the final call on what treatment method would suit you the best.] 

How Do You Prevent Epigastric Hernia?

The following steps can be followed to prevent the epigastric hernia:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight: Maintaining a healthy body weight will lower abdominal tension and lower the risk of an epigastric hernia. 
  • Quit smoking: Smoking increases the risk of developing a hernia. Smokers and those who have COPD or other tobacco-related illnesses are troubled by persistent, violent coughing, which can hasten the formation of hernias.
  • Exercise regularly: This helps improve your muscle strength. Increasing core strength can help prevent an epigastric hernia in numerous ways. Simply said, your "core" refers to the major pelvic and abdominal muscles, such as the oblique and pelvic floor muscles, as well as the smaller gluteus maximus and trapezius muscles.

Why Choose Medfin?

Surgery can be a daunting aspect, and feeling anxious is absolutely normal. The massive amount of information you can get from the internet may confuse you even more. This is where Medfin can help. Leave us the hefty task of finding the best hospital, the finest doctor, and the latest procedure at the lowest cost. Let us take charge while you sit back and focus on your health and recovery. Think surgery! Think Medfin! 


What is the Cost Of Epigastric Hernia Treatment in Hyderabad

The cost of epigastric hernia treatment in Hyderabadcan range between ₹70000 to ₹120000. However, the cost of epigastric hernia treatment can vary depending on several factors such as the surgeon's experience and expertise, the complexity of the procedure, the type of anesthesia used, the facility fees, any additional tests or medications required, and insurance coverage. To know more, please contact a Medfin expert.

Frequently Asked Questions

Medfin offers the latest surgical procedures to ensure that you recover as fast as possible in the least painful way possible.

An epigastric hernia occurs when tissue or part of an organ pushes into the abdominal wall tissue that lies in the upper part of the stomach area and below the chest.

In addition to the symptoms of pain and swelling, if one notices an increase in the size of the swelling or experience fever, vomiting, nausea, and bowel or urinary irregularities must immediately visit a general surgeon or a  surgical gastroenterologist for immediate medical care.

The exact cause is unknown but most commonly any physical activity that puts a strain on the stomach area can lead to a hernia.

Epigastric hernia is treated surgically especially when it is symptomatic.

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