How is a physical exam performed on an adult patient with an abdominal inguinal hernia?

Updated: Jul 01, 2021
  • Author: Assar A Rather, MBBS, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Examination of an adult for an inguinal hernia is best performed from the seated position, with the patient standing. The inguinal canal areas for the bulge are visualized. A provocative cough may be necessary to expose the hernia; the cough is repeated as the examiner invaginates the scrotum and feels for an impulse. The diameter of the internal ring is assessed. Palpation of the cord structures is performed with the finger gently rolling perpendicular to the long axis of the cord just medial to the internal ring; this can detect thickening of the cord.

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