An abdominal mass is an unusual growth in your child’s abdomen. The growth might be in the stomach, intestines, solid organs or another area of the belly. While many abdominal masses are non-cancerous (benign), some may be cancerous.

Examples of abdominal masses include:

  • Adrenal tumor
  • Hepatic tumor
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Ovarian cysts and tumors
  • Renal tumors (including Wilms)
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Splenic cyst

If you suspect your child may have an abdominal mass, it’s important for them to see their doctor for an exam as quickly as possible.

Symptoms of Abdominal Masses

Signs and symptoms of abdominal masses can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Mass or growth in the belly, felt beneath the skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swelling of the belly
  • Unusual weight loss or gain

When to see a doctor

If your child has a mass or growth that you can feel beneath the skin or is experiencing any of the above symptoms with no other explanation, you should take them to see their pediatrician. Their doctor will perform an exam and determine next steps in evaluating your child to ensure the abdominal mass is not a sign of a serious, underlying condition.

Causes of Abdominal Masses

Abdominal masses in children can be caused by or seen with a variety of conditions, such as:

  • Adrenal tumor
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Cholecystitis (swelling of the gallbladder)
  • Hepatic (liver) tumor
  • Hydronephrosis (swelling of the kidney)
  • Infection
  • Neuroblastoma (cancer of nerve tissue)
  • Ovarian cyst or tumor
  • Renal (kidney) tumor, including Wilms tumor (the most common type of kidney cancer in children)
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma (rare cancer that affects soft tissues)
  • Splenic cyst
  • Traumatic injury, such as in an automobile accident

Request an Appointment

Contact an Orlando Health doctor

If you suspect that your child may have an abdominal mass, make an appointment with an Orlando Health pediatrician today so your child can start on the road to improved health.