What to Expect During a Physical Examination for an Inguinal Hernia

Preparing Yourself for Possible Hernia Surgery

According to the American Family Physician website, “Hernia is a general term describing a bulge or protrusion of an organ or tissue through an abnormal opening within the anatomic structure. Although there are many different types of hernias, they are usually related to the abdomen, with approximately 75 percent of all hernias occurring in the inguinal region. Abdominal wall hernias account for 4.7 million ambulatory care visits annually. More than 600,000 surgical repairs for inguinal hernias are performed nationwide each year, making it one of the most common general surgical procedures performed in the United States.”

And every inguinal hernia repair surgery begins with a physical exam for diagnosis. Your medical history and a physical examination are sufficient for an accurate diagnosis of your hernia the majority of the time. Simple as those sound, the examination is not to be rushed since glossing over details is the number one reason for a misdiagnosis.

What Dr. William Brown is Looking for During Your Physical Exam

In addition to reviewing your complete medical history, Dr. Brown will discuss your symptoms. Pain in the area, sometimes severe, is one indicator. However, other symptoms include burning, gurgling, or aching in the groin, which tend to get worse at the end of the day and after you’re active. Visually, Dr. Brown is looking and feeling for a bulge in the abdominal area when you’re lying down. He may ask you to cough, which uses the abdominal muscles and can make the bulge easier to feel.

Most of the time, an inguinal hernia can be felt. That’s not always the case for more difficult to diagnose sports hernias, which may require a Standing Ultrasound or a CT scan. Yet, these tests can be difficult to interpret and come with a high false negative rate. Imaging tests are more helpful for identifying other possible causes of your groin pain, for example a hip injury.

At the conclusion of your physical exam, Dr. Brown will discuss next steps. If you’re experiencing the typical signs of hernia pain or want to schedule an appointment to get an accurate diagnosis, contact Dr. Brown today.

William Brown, MD
Hernia Specialist

Dr. Brown has been repairing inguinal hernias for over 30 years, taking care of Athletes with Sports Hernia injuries since 1999.  Dr. Brown has been taking care of patients with complications from mesh for so long that his hair is gray. Luckily he still has some hair.

His patients include players from the San Jose Sharks and the San Jose Earthquakes as well as athletes from the NFL, AFL, NBA, and the local college teams. As well as Athletes from 15 foreign countries.

Fremont Office
William H. Brown, M.D.
39470 Paseo Padre Pkwy
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 793-2404
Fax: (510) 793-1320

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