Epigastric hernias occur when there is a tiny opening in the muscles between the breastbone and the belly button. The fat that lines the abdominal cavity pokes through this opening, resulting in a visible bulge.  Epigastric hernias occur most often in males.


Most epigastric hernias are small and do not cause symptoms, but when they do, your child may experience the following:

  • a small bump or swelling above the belly button
  • general discomfort or pain
  • Pain gets worse when standing, sneezing or straining to have a bowel movement

Possible Treatments

Doctors diagnose epigastric hernias by physical examination. These hernias are treated with surgery. Your child will receive expert care from the pediatric surgeons and anesthesiologists at Arkansas Children's. We offer minimally invasive surgery techniques with minimal wait times.

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