What can cause a protruding bulge in the upper abdominal region?

A protruding bulge in the upper abdominal region could signify a number of different conditions, therefore it is important to see a qualified medical professional in order to rule out any serious health risks.  However, a bulge in the upper ab region may be due to a condition known as diastasis recti (also known as abdominal separation) which is a disorder defined as the separation of the rectus abdominis muscle (the six-pack muscle) into right and left halves.  As a result of this abdominal muscle separation, the underlying tissue protrudes throught the tear and causes a bulge.  This is a fairly common occurence in pregnant women as well as newborns, but may also be present in men with large amounts of internal abdominal fat.  Usually, diastasis recti can be improved through proper strengthening of the core using exercises that emphasize stabilization such as the supine draw-in manuever.  Extreme cases may also be corrected with cosmetic surgery in which the right and left halves of the rectus abdominis muscle are sutured back together. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.