Skip to content
Abdominal pulse?
An_192863 posted:
A couple months ago I noticed that my upper abdomen visibly pulses, as if it has a heartbeat. It is constant, and most visible when I hold in my breath and suck in my stomach. I can see it whether standing, sitting or laying down, although it's more visible in the latter two cases.

The pulsations seem to be pretty generalized (I don't feel any masses when I press into my stomach), although I think they're coming from the upper portion of the abdomen (about 2-2.5 inches above the navel, where the chest and abdomen meet).

I have been told that the abdominal aorta can cause this and that it's normal, especially since I have a little bit of belly flab it's probably just the aorta's pulses or my heartbeat conducting out into the skin.

But recently I read about aortic aneurysms and how stomach puslations are a symptom. I have a doctor's appointment soon but before then it would put my mind at ease to know if what I'm experiencing falls within the realm of what could be normal?

I'm a male in my late 20s. I do take medication to control high blood pressure, but am in otherwise good health (BMI slightly under 25, etc.).
CardiostarUSA1 responded:

"But before then it would put my mind at ease to know if what I'm experiencing falls within the realm of what could be normal?"

It may be normal for some, not so for others. Only by having the appropriate diagnostic imaging performed can determine this for sure.

In general-only here, in some individuals, as applicable, more so if there is a bounding, firm, or strong pulse (for whatever reason, constant or briefly), they can see a rhythmic pulsing or throbbing (in-sync with the heartbeat) in a vein, such as in the hand, arm, or neck, simply because of their body habitus, e.g., thin or thin 'n tall build (or so-called being "thin-skinned") and physique. A pulsing in the chest, and sometimes the abdomen/stomach, may/can be notcied as well.

ALWAYS be proactive in your health care and treatment. Most important, communicate/interact well with your doctor(s).

Best of luck down the road of life. Live long and prosper.

Take care,


WebMD community member (since 8/99)




Be a questioning patient. Talk to your doctor and ask questions. Studies show that patients who ask the most questions, and are most assertive, get the best results. Be vigilant and speak up!"

- Charles Inlander, People's Medical Society


It's your there. :-) :cool:

. .

WebMD/WebMD message boards does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
DeadManWalking56 responded:
The aorta curves up above heart then comes back downward through the center of the torso, and splits to the two femoral (leg) arteries. One should always be able to find its pulse if you work hard enough.

Helpful Tips

A Word A DayGuest Expert
It is important to keep physically fit. But it is just as critical to stay mentally fit as well. One form of mental aerobics is to learn a ... More
Was this Helpful?
12 of 12 found this helpful

Expert Blog

The Heart Beat - James Beckerman, MD, FACC

Dr. James Beckerman shares how small, livable lifestyle changes can have a real impact on your risk of heart attack and stroke...Read More

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center