Small breaks in the abdominal musculature between the breast bone and the umbilicus (belly button). The opening allows internal fat or bowel to push out into the tissue under the skin when the child strains. It is best seen with the child’s arms raised and the back in a slight back back-bend. Parents often first identify the hernia while helping the child to change their shirt.

Unlike umbilical hernias that may resolve up to 4 years of age, epigastric hernias do not go away on their own. Elective outpatient surgery is recommended. The natural history of epigastric hernias is believed to be gradual enlargement over time.

Common Questions

Is repair considered cosmetic?
No. Hernias can lead to problems such as bowel becoming stuck, so repair is needed to prevent future problems.

Does insurance cover this?
Yes. Commercial and Medicare plans cover this procedure.


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