Umbilical Hernia

LTmbilical hernias protrude through a defective umbilical ring. They are most common in infants but also occur in adults. In infants, but not in adults, they usually close spontaneously within a year or two.


Incisional Hernia

An incisional hernia protrudes through an operative scar. By palpation, note the length and width of the defect in the abdominal wall. A small defect, through which a large hernia has passed, has a greater risk of complications than a large defect.

Diastasis Recti

A rectus diastasis is a separation of the two rectus abdominis muscles, through which abdominal contents bulge to form a midline ridge when the patient raises head and shoulders. Repeated pregnancies, obesity, and chronic lung disease may predispose to it. It has no clinical consequences.

Epigastric Hernia

An epigastric hernia is a small midline protrusion through a defect in the linea alba, somewhere between the xiphoid process and the umbilicus. With the patient's head and shoulders raised (or with the patient standing), look for it, and run your fingerpad down the linea alba to feel it.


Lipomas are common, benign, fatty tumors usually located in the subcutaneous tissues almost anywhere in the body, including the abdominal wall. Small or large, they are usually soft and often lobulated. When your finger presses down on the edge of a lipoma, the tumor typically slips out from under it.

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