A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it. It is most commonly observed in the abdomen but can also occur in the upper thigh, belly button, and groin. The hernia ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic exam that captures images of the major structures involved in the hernia. An ultrasound is a very safe and reliable diagnostic imaging resource that assesses pathology and guides physicians towards your individualized treatment plan.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of information that a diagnostic hernia ultrasound can provide:
- The exact muscle or tissue the organ is protruding from
- The exact organ, and part of the organ, protruding
- How the surrounding tissues, nerves, and muscles are affected
- The source of pain from the hernia
If you have any signs or symptoms of a hernia, such as an abnormal protrusion, and want to get a diagnostic ultrasound, a referral from a general practitioner or family doctor is required for this exam. Please get in contact with a medical professional as soon as possible, as a hernia can cause serious damage and complications.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A HERNIA ULTRASOUND APPOINTMENT?
In general, there are no special preparations required before the ultrasound but your doctor may provide you with specific instructions. Dress in clothes that allow for easy access to examine the area of the hernia, otherwise, a medical gown will be provided.
A water-based gel is used to improve the transmission of the ultrasound waves. However, should you have any allergies to gel, it is important to let the ultrasound technician know before the examination. In addition, please let the ultrasound technician know if you have had any previous surgery around the imaged area.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, please notify your doctor. If you have any questions or concerns about preparing for your ultrasound, please discuss these with your physician before your appointment.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING A HERNIA ULTRASOUND APPOINTMENT?
Upon arrival, you will be shown to a private room where the ultrasound technician will offer you a medical gown to change into if needed. You will be asked to remove any jewellery that may interfere with the ultrasound procedure. When ready, the ultrasound technician will apply a small amount of a water-based gel to the transducer head and gently move it along the area of the hernia with mild to moderate pressure to capture clear images. Once all necessary images have been captured, you will be able to wipe off the gel and get dressed.
The assessment is approximately 30 minutes long.
Shortly after your appointment, a radiologist will review your images and send a report to your general practitioner or family physician. Once the report is reviewed, your doctor will contact you with the results.