1.4.1 Epigastric hernia

An epigastric hernia is a hernia in the midline of the upper abdomen (between the breast bone (sternum) and navel). The hernia opening is situated in the region of what is known as the linea alba. This is a tendinous strip formed from the tendinous skin of the lateral abdominal muscles. The hernial sac may contain components of the greater omentum, and in rare cases also parts of the small intestines. Risk factors for onset of an epigastric hernia are connective tissue weakness, increased internal abdominal pressure (e.g. in the event of chronic cough and strong pressing because of constipation), overweight and frequent carrying of heavy loads. In general, epigastric hernias can be seen and/or felt. It may, or may not be, accompanied by pain. If affects men and women equally.