An epigastric hernia develops in the midline near the top of the abdomen. They often start after a period of intense exercise or heavy lifting.
Patients notice a painful lump in the abdomen that may never settle despite rest or lying down. These hernias are most common in young and middle age people.
Epigastric hernias are nearly always repaired due to the risk of strangulation. The operation is usually performed under general anaesthetic through a small horizontal scar overlying the lump. The hernia bulge is pushed back into place and the defect (hole) is closed with permanent stitches. Occasionally a mesh may be placed under the muscle layer to plug the hole. Absorbable stitches are used to close the skin.