A lump in the abdomen is a soft bulge of tissue or a small, local area of swelling in the belly area.
Abdominal hernia; Hernia - abdominal; Abdominal wall defects; Lump in the abdominal wall; Abdominal wall mass
Most often, a lump in the abdomen is caused by a hernia. An abdominal hernia occurs when there is an area where the muscles are weak. This allows the internal organs to bulge through the abdominal wall. A hernia may not appear until after you strain, lift something heavy, or have a prolonged period of coughing.
There are several types of hernias, based on where they occur:
- Inguinal hernia appears as a bulge in the groin or scrotum. This type is more common in men than women.
- Incisional hernia can occur through a scar if you have had abdominal surgery.
Umbilical herniaappears as a bulge around the belly button. It occurs when the muscle around the navel doesn't close completely.
Other causes of the lump in the abdominal wall include:
- Hematoma (collection of blood under the skin after trauma)
- Lymph nodes
- Lipoma (collection of fatty tissue under the skin)
- Tumor of the skin or muscles
Review Date: 08/21/2009
Reviewed By: James Lee, MD, Department of Surgery, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.