Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Hernia Forum

Can a Cat Scan Miss a Hernia?

Dear All,

I am at a loss of ideas as to how to pursue what seems to be a hernia in my right lower abdomen (close to the groin). I started experiencing pain whenever I coughed and laughed about 2 months ago. There was no visible bump, however, so the doctor had a hard time diagnosing anything. The pain eventually got worse, and one day after playing football, an actual bump emerged. It makes sense that I have a hernia, also, because prior to the pain 2 months ago, I was working my lower abs pretty rigorously in the gym, possibly to an extreme that was unhealthy. Anyway, I went to a doctor, who booked a CAT scan to check for the hernia. Coincidentally, he felt my scrotum and told me he felt swelling/tenderness, and it could be epididymitis. He prescribed me 100 mg 2x/day for 10 days of doxycilin. We didn't have time, however, to book a Ultra sound before I left for China, where I am now. The CAT scan didn't reveal the hernia that I expected, but apparently this wasn't a huge surprise, since epididymitis apparently presents "hernia-like" pain sometimes. I have finished my anti-biotic prescription, and while the pain seems to be less prevalent (though in a weird way, it may not, I just don't laugh/cough as often as I used to now that I'm in China), the bump is still there, and now it's as big as ever.

Is it possible that the CAT scan missed the hernia? Do you have any knowledge of the safety of getting an operation in China? Or should I wait 3 months to return to the States? I would love to get it done with now, since I am pretty avid about working out, but obviously not at the expense of more important health issues. Any advice would be excellent, thank you.
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First Helper d444
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replied February 12th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I had a hernia or so one of the doctor said I did even though it didn't show up on a scan.

Did you ever have the surgery?
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replied February 12th, 2008
Eventually, it became all too obvious I had a hernia. There was a bump where there should have been, the pain was exactly as described by others, and so I went to another doctor. He frowned when I told him that the other hospital disqualified the hernia on grounds of a CAT scan, and did an old fashion finger test (bend over, cough... you get the idea). He determined I had a hernia, and I had surgery the next day. 4 days of discomfort later, I was feeling perfect. Don't totally trust a CAT scan for a hernia!
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replied February 12th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Did they put a mesh in you?
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replied February 12th, 2008
Yep! In fact, I lucked out with the surgeon and got it endoscopically inserted, which means instead of putting the mesh on the outside of the hole, it was put on the inside, which allows for faster recovery, and allegedly a lower recurrence rate (only by a percentage or two, though). It requires more from the surgeon, however, so many still do it the traditional way. But yeah, mesh is the way to go. 4 months since surgery, and I feel as if the hernia never existed.
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replied February 12th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I have mesh in me and I am in chronic pain.
I had hernias repaired many years ago when they did them without meshes, we are talking over 35 years ago with those.
Many people are suffering from meshes, sometimes the pain shows up months later, not trying to bring you bad news but please be aware of anything you feel out of the norm.

Do you mean they did it laproscopically?
I never heard of endoscopy for hernia repair.

Glad you are doing well..hope it continues.
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replied February 12th, 2008
Yeah, I meant laproscopically. I was warned that future pain is possible, and I guess I'm being a bit optimistic. I'm just very thankful that I'm not going through what I was before it (when I was being led around in circles about what it may be). I'm sorry that you're still feeling surgery related pain, no one should have to go through that.
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replied February 13th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Thanks!!!!


I know what you mean about being led around, it's as if you are going to go for to the doctor for the heck of it, today when they say managed care they aren't kidding, we really have to manage our health care.
Years ago things were different, today it's the insurance companies dictating our lives.

Best of luck if you have any questions or concerns ask away, I'll be more than happy to help if I can!!!
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replied October 15th, 2008
if you had this pain, and the lump came out you most defenatly have a hernia. its very possible a CT scan can miss it since your most likly laying down during the test when the hernia usually goes back inside.

my hernia started same way, some pain, and surgeoun told me i had a hernia way before a lump came out, i went to a few experts for 2nd and 3rd opinions all who missed the hernia. finally lump came out and it was very painful. my adive is find a surgeon who did many many hernias.
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User Profile
replied May 9th, 2009
I did a lot of research for myself...
Look under Spigelian hernia. Sometimes, even the Ct Scan and ultrasounds don't show it. Some of these hernia are discovered by laparoscopy. Usually, it is situated at the lower right abdomen where you say that you have a swelling. Maybe you should ask a doctor about doing a laparoscopy. This kind of hernia are at higher risk for strangulation.
Wish you the best!
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