Oregon residents may not know that groin hernias are frequently not diagnosed correctly, especially when they occur in women. Although this problem has been known for 40 years, many doctors still do not know what to look for when they are reviewing CT scans of the region.
In men, a groin hernia, also known as an inguinal hernia, often shows up as a painless bulge in the groin region. This makes it easy for doctors to identify through an examination of the area. Women, however, often do not have a corresponding bulge and instead experience severe pelvic pain. When a doctor fails to diagnose and treat the hernia, women may be left to suffer in pain. Some are even told to get psychiatric treatment because the physician was unable to identify the pain's source.
The reason why so many women are not diagnosed with existing inguinal hernias is because their inguinal canals are much smaller than men's. Men have large inguinal cavities due to the presence of the spermatic rod. This makes the characteristic bulge easier to spot than in women. Women who have a hernia in the area may have it push on surrounding nerves, causing the pain.
Since this has been a known problem for decades, a doctor's misdiagnosis of a woman's inguinal hernia may be considered to be medical malpractice. Women should not have to suffer for years with pelvic pain that could otherwise be resolved in a couple of weeks with treatment. Studies have shown that an MRI is much more effective in aiding in the identification of hidden inguinal hernias than are CT scans. People who believe they may have a hernia may want to ask their doctor to perform an MRI. Those who learn they were misdiagnosed and who have suffered may want to speak to a medical malpractice attorney.