|Spanish Multimedia Encyclopedia|
A lump in the abdomen is a soft bulge of tissue or a small, local area of swelling in the belly area.
See also: Abdominal mass
Abdominal hernia; Hernia - abdominal; Abdominal wall defects; Lump in the abdominal wall; Abdominal wall mass
Most often, a lump in the abdomen is caused by a hernia. An abdominal hernia occurs when there is an area where the muscles are weak. This allows the internal organs to bulge through the abdominal wall. A hernia may not appear until after you strain, lift something heavy, or have a prolonged period of coughing.
There are several types of hernias, based on where they occur:
Other causes of the lump in the abdominal wall include:
Call your doctor if you have a lump in your abdomen that becomes larger, discolored, or painful.
If you have a hernia, call your doctor if you have:
A strangulated hernia (when the blood supply to the organs that protrude through the hernia is lost) is very rare, but it is a medical emergency.
The doctor will examine you and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, such as:
During the physical examination, you may be asked to cough or strain.
Surgery may be needed to correct incisional hernias or umbilical hernias that do not go away by the time the child approaches school age. Emergency surgery is needed in the case of a strangulated hernia.
Malangoni MA, Rosen MJ. Hernias. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 44.
Turnage RH, Richardson KA, Li BD, McDonald JC. Abdominal wall, umbilicus, peritoneum, mesenteries, omentum, and retroperitoneum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 43.