Diagnosis of an Inguinal Hernia
The most important feature in diagnosing an inguinal hernia is identifying the bulge in the inguinal region. The bulge may be associated vague pain or discomfort in the groin region. Pain can be very severe if the hernia gets incarcerated or strangulated. Some patients may have abnormal sensations in the region due to pressure on the inguinal nerves.
Physical examination is essential to confirm the diagnosis. It is done with the patient lying and standing position. The bulge may disappear on lying down and appear on standing. The size of the bulge may also increase on standing or coughing (cough impulse). Ultrasonography (ultrasound examination) is useful in the diagnosis of the clinically undetectable inguinal hernias. In some situations, a laparoscopy may serve as the diagnostic as well as the therapeutic procedure at the same time.