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Clinical features

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The patient with an epigastric hernia may be asymptomatic. The abdominal mass is discovered as part of a routine examination.

The features in a symptomatic patient may include:

  • pain - which varies from mild epigastric pain to a deep burning pain radiating to the back or the lower abdomen
  • an abdominal mass - which may be palpable and tender
  • abdominal bloating
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • aggravated by eating
  • relieved by reclining so that the mass falls away from the anterior abdominal wall

Smaller hernia are prone to incarceration and strangulation. They frequently contain only extraperitoneal fat. Large ones seldom strangulate and additionally contain omentum.

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