Abdominal Mass-Causes, Symptoms, Treatment


The location of the abdominal swelling, the firmness, the pain, the texture of the mass and other information can tell the doctor what is the reason for abdominal swelling in one area.  Listed below are the causes for abdominal mass:

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  1. Pulsating mass around the belly button may be a sign of Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  2. Firm mass in the center of the lower abdomen just above the pelvic bones and in cases, where it can extend up to the navel may mean bladder distention or a condition here the urinary bladder is filled with fluid.
  3. Extremely tender mass below the liver area in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen can mean Cholecystitis.
  4. Sausaged shaped mass in the abdominal area can mean Crohn’s Disease or Bowel Obstruction
  5. Colon cancer is a possibility when there is a mass or swelling anywhere in the abdomen.
  6. Irregularly shaped right upper quadrant mass, which does not have a specific shape and is moderately tender may imply Gallbladder tumor.
  7. Mass located in the lower left quadrant of the abdomen may imply Diverticulitis.
  8. Fluid in the kidney or Hydronephrosis may be indicated if there is a spongy, smooth mass growth in or both sides of the abdomen or in the flank-back areas.
  9. Mass in the abdomen may be a cause of kidney cancer or firm, lumpy mass in the right upper quadrant may indicate liver cancer.
  10. Rubbery mass that is smooth and rounded above the pelvic area in the lower abdomen may indicate ovarian cyst
  11. Pancreatic abscess can be caused by mass in the upper abdomen in the epigastric area.
  12. Liver enlargement or hepatomegaly is seen in the form of firm, irregularly shaped mass under the right rib cage, or on the left side of the stomach part.
  13. Neuroblastoma, which is a malignant tumor found in the lower abdomen happens in infants and children.
  14. Mass found anywhere in the abdomen can also imply Volvulus.
  15. A swelling in the lower abdomen can also imply Ureteropelvic junction obstruction
  16. Mass in the top part of the abdomen in the epigastric area may be a cause of pancreatic abscess.
  17. A lumpy mass in the upper abdomen may also mean Pancreatic Pseudocyst.
  18. Smooth, tight, hard mass near the kidney may be a cause of Renal Cell Carcinoma.
  19. Spleen Enlargement, with swelling in the left upper quadrant refers to enlarged spleen or splenomegaly.
  20. Mass in the left upper part of the abdomen in the epigastic (stomach area) may mean stomach cancer getting complicated.

Tests and Diagnosis

All abdominal mass with or without pain, that may concern, should be examined by the health care provider.  If there is a pulsating lump coupled with severe abdominal pain, seek medical help urgently. This may mean a ruptured aortic aneurysm or any such urgent condition.   The doctor will ask qustoins about the symptoms and go through your medical history. The doctor may ask questions like:

  1. Do you get abdominal pain along with the mass?
  2. Where is the mass located?
  3. Does the swelling come and go?
  4. When did you first notice the swelling in the abdomen?
  5. What are the other symptoms that you get?
  6. Does the mass change in position or size, has it become more or less painful in recent times?

The tests that are done to check abdominal  mass cause nclude

* Abdominal CT scan

* Abdominal ultrasound

* Abdominal x-ray

* Angiography

* Barium enema

* Blood tests such as CBC and blood chemistry

* Colonoscopy

* EGD

* Isotope study

* Sigmoidoscopy

A pelvic or rectal examination may also be done in certain cases.

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1 Comment

  1. I have had 2 c sections, 8 hernia repairs, laproscopy, hysterscopy, 1 d and c, my spleen is enlarged,and they tell me my liver enzymes are abnormal. I was told that I have fibroid tumors, non maglinant, I have had 1 attempted, but failed bone marrow attempt, 1 successful hip bone marrow attempt, and was told there was no cancer. I went to dr for check up in July. Underneath my naval i have a very large area that is swollen that extends from side to side. It is hard in places and has raised areas that look like small fingerlings running from top to bottom. This came on very suddenly and seems to continue to be growing. I asked my dr what could cause this. She shrugged her shoulders and said it was water weight. I went to another dr and asked the same question and was told it was”gravity.” I was prescribed an increased dosage of water pills- 20 miligrams. This did not help. Some excess water did come off, but it made me very constipated. I am an overweight person to start with, but this is like an intertube around the bottom of my stomach. What could be causing this problem?

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