An Epigastric hernia is one of the most common hernia forms found in men.
These hernias are rarely life threatening. However, they can be very painful and disfiguring.
An Epigastric hernia can result from either a normal birth defect, or as the result of an injury.
They are more common in men than in women. This is mainly due to the fact that men perform strenuous labor tasks more than women. At the same time an epigastric hernia can occur in a woman that performs these difficult tasks.
Understanding what causes epigastric hernias, what treatment options are available, and how to prevent them is very important.
What Does Epigastric Mean?
There are many types of hernias. Each is classified by location. The word Epigastric is the location of the hernia within the body.
Epigastric is a term that translates to mean the upper abdomen, or gastric region. This is the area right below the middle of the rib cage down to the belly button or navel. In the case of an epigastric hernia, this is the location where it would form.
How Does an Epigastric Hernia Form?
An epigastric hernia is an area where tissue pushes through the abdominal wall. This can be due to a weakness in the abdominal wall that occurred before birth or because of a tear to the wall from strenuous activity.
The tissue inside the wall will be able to pass through and form a small knot or ball in the stomach. In most cases this protrusion will generally be no larger than a golf ball. These areas may appear during strain such as laughing or sneezing, and then disappear during rest.
Do Epigastric Hernias Heal Without Treatment?
Some hernia types can be repaired by wrapping or binding the stomach area. However, an epigastric hernia cannot be repaired or fixed in this way.
Because of the location it is impossible to keep the body still, and push the hernia in long enough for the abdominal wall to heal. [Hernia treatment]
If you have been diagnosed with an epigastric hernia the only treatment option will be surgery. Luckily, the surgery can be completed in just a few hours, and does not require admission into the hospital.
Is an Epigastric Hernia Life Threatening?
In most cases an epigastric hernia is not life threatening, and treatment can even be delayed. However, it is possible for the hernia to become strangulated, and complications can occur.
Strangulation will occur if the tissue that is protruding no longer accesses the blood supply. When this happens the area will become darkly discolored, and you can begin to feel pain, nausea, or even vomiting.
If you believe you may be suffering from an epigastric hernia, the best thing to do is contact your physician. He or she can make a proper diagnosis and insure that everything is ok.
You may need to continue doctor’s visits to make sure there is no risk of strangulation. However, having the surgery will fix the problem immediately.