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Dr Brims
Dr Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Medical
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Experience:  MD
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I have a lump where my sternum is

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I have a golf ball sized lump where my sternum is, I read some facts online and i am still a bit confused. I'll try and explain the exact situation. I work out 3-4 days per week - focusing mostly on my chest. I used to take pepcid AC 1-2x everyday and then all of a sudden I dont need to take it anymore? I am wondering if this lump has something to do with that or just a coincidence? there is no pain but the lump is pretyy obvious especially when I suck in my stoach and extend my chest. My only inconvenince with this is the way it looks and knowing it's there is a bit worrysome. I have dealt with anxiety related issues for quite a while but never took any anxiety medication - ever! Can you help me with this?

Welcome to Justanswer. I will try to assist you with your medical question, and any medical information you seek

Is the lump over your sternum or under it?
<br/Customer:
It feels like it is on my sternum. Over if anything

Dr B :
Is it hard or soft?
<br/Customer:
It's a bit hard - you can press it and it's a hard but pushes in a bit - feels like a bone actually

Dr B :
I see, so when did you first notice it and have you had any tests?
<br/Customer:
No tests - I noticed it a few months ago. I lost about 25 lbs and then noticed it as i started working out more often.

Dr B :
Is it attached to the overlying skin or is it attached to the sternum
<br/Customer:
It's under my skin - not noticable until I suck my stomach in as if I were flexing my chest. It actually feels like my sterum but just a lot bigger. It's not actually a golf ball size about 3/4's of one when I make it stick out. It doens't seem to be getting any bigger. I still work out a lot on my chest muscles and it doesnt seem to affect me in any pain whatsoever.

Dr B :
I don't understand what you are explaining, if it is over your sternum , it should be apparent whether you suck your stomach in or not
<br/Customer:
Ok, when I am standing up straight in a normal position you cannot see it, when I suck in my stomach as if to fully inhale you can then see it. here's an example - if you were to take a large deep breath of air in and hold it - feel your sterun - mine sticks out when I do this

Dr B :
Your sternum should not stick out when you inhale, most of the movement should come from your abdomen when the diaphragm contracts, and some movemet from the intercostal muscles between your ribs will allow the chest to expand
<br/Customer:
I understand this - but it does. That is what worries me. When i was heavier i never noticed this I used to be around 225 now im 195. It could have been there but being heavier I may have never noticed this? Lets say you were at a bar and talking to a girl, you stick your chest out a bit to appear to be a little more muscular - this is the only way of me exlpaining what i have. i hope this helps you understand. Do you have any idea what this could be caused from? not hernia related? just curious?

Dr B :
Let me clear this up, if the lump is on the sternum, that means that is is lying over bone, is that correct?Meaning that below the lump is bone instead of muscle
<br/Customer:
i think it my sternum that's sticking out - it's either directly on top of my sterum or is my sternum. Under the lump is basically nothing - just my stomach and the lump is about 1" above the lump is my chestbone

Dr B :
the chest bone is your sternum
<br/Customer:
Okay in that case its' directly below my chestbone between the upper part of my stomach and the chestbone. It's almost in between the two uppen muscles of the stomach

Dr B :
So it is below the sternum, ok, I was confused for a second. This is most likely an epigastric hernia
<br/Customer:
if I felx my stomach muscles the lump seems to go away.

Dr B :
This is most likely an epigastric hernia
<br/Customer:
I was hoping somehting like that. Does this require surgery to go away? How do you treat this type of hernia? and what is it caused from - the acid reflux or working out?

Dr B :
It requires surgery (all hernias do). It is caused by a defect in fascia, more likely from damage from working out, acid reflux cannot cause it
<br/Customer:
Ok, if I continue to work out - will it negatively affect it more? It surgery something that has to be done?

Dr B :
Surgery will eventually have to be done, and as you continue to work out, it may gety bigger
<br/Customer:
Is this a normaly fast outpatient surgery and what would be the recovery time? Could this happen again even after surgery?

Dr B :
It is not outpatient surgery, and the recovery time may be a few weeks. It is possible to happen after surgery, but unlikely
<br/Customer:
Would you recommend surgery? i know it's hard to diagnose online, but if there is no actual pain and no obstruction of movement, etc, I would perfer to not have surgery obviously. I also dont want to harm my body in any way either. The thought of surgery is very scary to me.

Dr B :
I cannot make that recommendation without examining you and running tests, it would be irresponsible
<br/Customer:
i understand, thank you very much for your input Dr. this info has helped. I will see a doctor soon. Have a wonderful weekend!

Dr B :
You're welcome

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