How are abdominal hernias identified?

Updated: Jul 01, 2021
  • Author: Assar A Rather, MBBS, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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When attempting to identify a hernia, look for a swelling or mass in the area of the fascial defect, as follows:

  • For inguinal hernias, place a fingertip into the scrotal sac and advance up into the inguinal canal
  • If the hernia is elsewhere on the abdomen, attempt to define the borders of the fascial defect
  • If the hernia comes from superolateral to inferomedial and strikes the distal tip of the finger, it most likely is an indirect hernia
  • If the hernia strikes the pad of the finger from deep to superficial, it is more consistent with a direct hernia
  • A bulge felt below the inguinal ligament is consistent with a femoral hernia

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