What is an Abdominal Lump?

Dr Priya Sharma

Dr Priya Sharma

BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery), 6 years of experience

January 3, 2022 Lifestyle Diseases 592 Views

English हिन्दी Bengali

What is the meaning of an Abdominal Lump?

An abdominal lump is a swelling or bulge that can emerge from any area of the abdomen (stomach). This swelling in the abdomen protrudes towards the outside. It feels as if there is a ball or knot in the stomach causing severe pain. An abdominal lump can be both hard or soft and may feel sore and painful. It usually does not cause any specific symptoms. However, in a few cases, symptoms like abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus, constipation, vomiting, nausea, etc., are seen. To treat them, doctors do some tests. Based on the investigation results, they plan appropriate treatment.

In this article, you will get detailed information about abdominal lumps.

  • What are the causes of  Abdominal Lumps?
  • What are the symptoms of Abdominal Lumps?
  • How to diagnose an Abdominal Lump?
  • What is the treatment for Abdominal Lumps?
  • How to prevent Abdominal Lumps?

What are the causes of Abdominal Lump?

An abdominal lump may occur due to several causes and risk factors. Some of the common causes of abdominal lump are:

Hernia: The most common cause of abdominal lumps is a hernia, which is a condition in which a tissue or organ bulges through an abnormal opening in the abdominal wall. A hernia may appear after a prolonged period of coughing, over-straining in cases of constipation, or lifting something heavy. The various types of hernias that may cause an abdominal lump to include:

  • Inguinal hernia: A bulge in the groin or the scrotal region is called an inguinal hernia. It is more commonly seen in men.
  • Umbilical hernia: It appears as a bulge that is seen around the belly button. This condition may develop when the muscles around the navel do not close completely.
  • Incisional hernia: This type of hernia can occur through a scar if one has had abdominal surgery.

( Know more about- What is Hernia Surgery ? Causes, Procedure and Cost )

  • Gallbladder stones: The formation of small pieces of solid material in the gallbladder may lead to an abdominal lump.

(Know more about- What is Gallbladder Surgery? )

  • Hematoma: A condition in which a pool of blood collects under the skin due to broken blood vessels. This condition typically occurs due to an injury and may result in an abdominal lump.
  • Lipoma: When a lump of fat collects under the skin the condition is known as a lipoma.

( Know more about- What is Lipoma Treatment? )

  • Tumor: A non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant) tumor on an organ in the abdominal region, or in the skin or muscles may cause an abdominal lump.

(Know more about- What is Colon Cancer? )

  • Undescended testicle: During the development of a male fetus, the testicles form in the abdomen and later descend into the scrotum. Sometimes, one or both the testicles fail to descend into the scrotum causing a lump seen near the groin region in newborn baby boys.

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  • Other causes: Some other causes of abdominal lump include the formation of a cyst near the ovary in a female, liver enlargement, Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory bowel disease affecting the digestive tract lining), and ovarian abscess (a pus-filled pocket in the ovary).

( Know more about- What is Fatty Liver? )

What are the symptoms of Abdominal Lumps?

Symptoms of an abdominal lump will depend on its cause. Some common symptoms include:

  • Pain during urination

( Know more about- Pain in urine )

  • Stomach bloating
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Constipation 

(Know more about- What is Constipation? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment)

  • Feeling of pressure in the abdomen
  • Changes in the frequency of urination
  • Swelling and pain around the lump
  • Diarrhea

( Know more about- What is Kidney Transplant? )

How to diagnose an Abdominal Lump?

  • To test for a lump in the abdomen, the doctor first asks about the patient’s past medical history. He asks about the patient’s previous health conditions and when the lump formation was first seen in the abdomen. The doctor will also examine the skin around the lump. 
  • To find out the cause of the abdominal lump, the doctor may perform some tests, including imaging tests like:
  • Colonoscopy: A test done to see inside the large intestine.

(Know more about- What is Colonoscopy? )    

  • Blood tests: Routine blood tests are done to check for the presence of any infection.
  • Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves are used to create images of the internal organs of the body using ultrasound.

 ( Know more about- What is Endoscopy? Types, Causes, and Procedure)

  • CT scan: It is an imaging procedure in which an x-ray machine is connected to a computer to create cross-sectional images of the internal organs of the body.
  • Angiography: It is a type of x-ray done to check the blood vessels after injecting a special dye into the blood.

( Know more about- What is Coronary Angiography? )

  • Barium enema: An x-ray examination of the lower gastrointestinal tract by filling barium sulfate into the colon to give a clear image is called a barium enema.
  • Biopsy: In the case of a tumor, a small part of the tissue is excised and sent to the laboratory to check if the tumor is cancerous (benign) or non-cancerous (malignant).

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What is the treatment for Abdominal Lumps?

Treatment of an abdominal lump depends on the cause. After diagnosing the underlying cause, the doctor can treat the patient with the help of medicine and surgery.

Less severe types of abdominal lumps usually get better on their own without treatment.

Some of the treatment modalities include- 

  • Medications: The doctor may prescribe some medicines to reduce the acid production in the stomach. These drugs include H2 blockers, antacids, etc. to relieve the symptoms associated with an abdominal lump.

(Know more about- What is an Antacid? )

  • Laparoscopy: In cases of an abdominal hernia, the doctor may recommend treatment by laparoscopic surgery. In this procedure, a small incision is made in the patient’s abdomen and a thin tube with a camera and light on one end can be inserted inside to see the internal organs. The surgeon will then sew up the hole that had caused the hernia.

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  • Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy: In cases of tumors causing an abdominal lump, chemotherapy (use of drugs for destroying the cancer cells) and radiation therapy (high energy waves are used for killing the tumor cells) may be used to reduce the size of the abdominal lump.

( Know more about- What is Chemotherapy? )

As mentioned above, one of the major causes of abdominal lump in the upper right part of abdomen, along with pain, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, jaundice, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness, is Liver Cancer. Liver is one of the most important organs in the human body, and is very important for survival. The various treatments for liver cancer include- Ablation therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy. In advanced cases of liver cancer, when the medications and other therapies have failed, and the liver is damaged beyond repair, Liver Transplant is the only option for treatment left. 

How to prevent Abdominal Lumps?

A few simple lifestyle changes can help in the prevention of an abdominal lump. The following measures can help prevent abdominal lumps:

  • Avoid consuming acid-forming foods 

( Know more about- What is Acidity? Causes, Treatment and Prevention)

  • Do not lift heavy objects
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat healthy food and stay fit
  • One should not lie down immediately after having a meal
  • Exercise daily to strengthen your abdominal muscles

If you feel a lump in your abdomen, immediately consult a doctor for proper examination.

( Know more about- What is Liver Transplant Surgery? )

We hope we have answered all your questions about Abdominal Lumps through this article.

If you want more information and treatment for an Abdominal Lumps, then contact a Gastroenterologist.

We only aim to give you information through this article and do not recommend medication or treatment in any way. Only a doctor can give you the best advice and the correct treatment plan.

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