Epigastric hernias tend to be asymptomatic in adults, though the patient may experience pain in the upper abdomen and a small bulge in between the naval and the breastbone. In children, the parent may notice a small, protruding bulge along the center of the abdomen that becomes visible when the child cries, makes a bowel movement or engages in any other straining activity. The child may also complain of pain in the area of the bulge.
What causes an epigastric hernia?
In some cases, an epigastric hernia is present at birth due to the improper closure of the abdominal wall during the fetus’s development. In adults, an epigastric hernia appears over time due to a weakening of the abdominal wall that allows organs and tissues to protrude through. This weakness occurs from increased pressure within the abdomen, caused by a chronic cough, straining to have a bowel movement, trauma to the abdomen, lifting heavy objects, excessive fluid in the abdomen, pregnancy or being overweight.
How is an epigastric hernia treated?
It is important to note that epigastric hernias will not repair themselves, and surgery is the only way to fully resolve the condition. There are two distinct surgical options our experts use to treat epigastric hernias: open hernia surgery or laparoscopic hernia repair. The procedure we use will be dependent on the exact nature and size of your epigastric hernia, as well as your medical history.
During open hernia surgery, our experts will make a single long incision in the abdomen, near the site of the defect. We will then return the fat and tissue to their proper location before repairing the hole or weakness in the abdominal wall using a mesh underlay or sutures. Recovery from open hernia surgery will typically last about three weeks, at which point patients may resume their normal activities. At six weeks, patients can resume strenuous exercise.
In some cases, we may use a minimally invasive procedure called laparoscopic hernia repair. During surgery, our experts will insert a thin scope with a camera attached to obtain internal visibility of the hernia and surrounding structures. We will then make a small incision to expose the weakened tissues in the abdominal wall, before placing a mesh patch or sutures to repair the defect. Following laparoscopic hernia repair, the recovery period is slightly shorter and associated with less pain and discomfort than open hernia surgery. In most cases, recovery lasts one to two weeks, at which point the patient can resume light activity. At four weeks, patients can resume strenuous exercise.
Infants born with epigastric hernias
If your baby was born with an epigastric hernia, our experts will typically wait until the child is a toddler to perform surgery. At that point, the most minimally invasive option will be used to repair the defect. After administering general anesthesia to ensure your child’s comfort and safety, our surgeons will make a small incision in the abdomen, near the site of the hernia. From there, the weakened tissues are repaired with sutures and the incision is closed. Most children recover quickly following surgery for an epigastric hernia. It is advised that they rest for one to two days and then gradually resume normal, light activity at a pace that feels natural. Children can resume rigorous activities at two to four weeks following surgery, depending on the doctor’s instructions at your post-operative appointments.
If you suspect you have a hernia, or you have a protruding bulge near the groin or abdomen, it is important to seek immediate evaluation at the Los Angeles Hernia Center. Untreated hernias can lead to irreversible damage and the development of life-threatening complications, so time is of the essence. During your initial appointment, our team of surgeons will evaluate your symptoms and provide a definitive diagnosis. From there, we will compose a custom surgical plan to repair your hernia and prevent a recurrence using the most comfortable and minimally invasive techniques available. With years of experience and countless successful procedures, our surgeons have developed a reputation for delivering among the best epigastric hernia repair Los Angeles has to offer.
We specialize in performing complete hernia surgery and repair, using the latest and most minimally invasive techniques available. Moreover, our staff is comprised of two leading hernia experts, both of whom are fully committed to providing our patients with the best epigastric hernia surgery Beverly Hills has available.
All procedures are performed in our surgical care center, which is a private alternative to a hospital setting. Because hernia repair is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, hospitalization simply is not necessary. As such, many patients prefer to undergo treatment in our state-of-the-art facility, which offers an added level of privacy, convenience, and comfort.Learn more