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Continued testing may be needed to diagnosis hernias


People in Oregon who experience groin pain might end up receiving an evaluation from a radiologist. Unfortunately, just because something is not found does not mean that something is not there. Small hernias are not always noted by radiologists and surgeons because they are not viewed as likely to cause pain. Physicians may need to be careful to take the right steps when dealing with these occult inguinal hernias.

A specialist at the Americas Hernia Society meeting suggested that imaging testing is needed when symptoms point to an inguinal hernia even if a defect is not immediately palpable. Multiple imaging tests might need to be ordered until the symptoms and the results are in agreement with each other.

Ultrasounds provide valuable assistance when the results are positive but do not conclusively rule out a hernia if the results are negative, so another study could be used instead of assuming that a hernia is not present. CT scans cause more problems than ultrasounds when the results are negative as false-negatives happen 96 percent of the time in patients with known hernias. Since truly negative results only occur four percent of the time in these cases, an MRI may be needed next even with a negative result. An MRI offers more accuracy with positive or negative results, but it may be difficult to get an insurance company to agree to an MRI in these situations.

When negligence leads to something like an incorrect or delayed diagnosis or surgical errors, patients could seek compensation through a medical malpractice suit. An individual could receive damages for pain and suffering along with current and future medical costs.