DESCRIPTIONAbdominal masses are lumps or swollen areas anywhere in the abdomen (below the ribs, above the legs). They may be associated with the kidneys, intestinal tract, adrenal glands, genitals, or spleen. Abdominal masses may appear at any age. They usually do not look discolored, but they may cause pain when touched.
Appropriate health care includes:
Doctor's diagnosis and treatment, including hospitalization for extensive studies and possibly surgery.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSA slight swelling or a substantial bulge above the surface of the child's abdomen, but the mass may be so deep that it is not visible.
Pain upon pressing the mass (usually).
CAUSESAbnormal growths on the kidneys, genitals, stomach, intestines, liver, adrenals, and bile ducts.
Results of injury.
Some growths are congenital (present at birth).
More than half the growths present in newborn babies are caused by hydronephrosis (a condition existing when urine is blocked from release from a kidney).
History of similar masses in other children in the family.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCENo specific preventive measures.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Blood and urine studies.
Intravenous pyelograms (See Glossary).
Voiding cystourethrography (See Glossary).
X-ray exams of the gastrointestinal tract.
Ultrasound studies (See Glossary).
Computerized tomography (CAT or CT scan--See Glossary).
Nuclear medicine studies (See Glossary).
Some congenital masses may be malignant.
Failure to treat quickly and effectively may cause permanent damage.
Varies according to the location and nature of the mass in your child's abdomen. Curable if underlying causes can be eliminated or modified.
HOME CAREVaries according to the nature of the mass. Follow your doctor's instructions.
MEDICATIONYour doctor will prescribe medications according to the nature of the mass.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Your child should resume activities as your doctor advises.
DIET & FLUIDS
Depending on the nature of the mass, your doctor will determine the proper diet and fluid intake.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Only after problems of diagnosis and treatment are solved.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
You discover any mass in your child's abdomen.