News Feed Discussions Can CT scan accurately determine size of my hernia?

  • Can CT scan accurately determine size of my hernia?

    Posted by Mark on May 26, 2021 at 8:22 am

    I’ve recently had a CT scan with the NHS in England due to groin pain and an umbilical hernia which was present in a physical exam. I’ve received the report saying no other hernias were found and the umbilical hernia was very small. I know that surgical options are probably limited to mesh once an umbilical hernia goes over 1-2cm in size. Should I have been given an estimate of size in the report? Very small seems a bit vague to me and doesn’t really tell me where I am as I try to work out my next move.

    Johnso replied 3 years, 1 month ago 4 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Johnso

    May 26, 2021 at 9:45 pm


    When I was first referred to a surgeon to have my umbilical hernia looked at the surgeon stuck one of his fingers into the hernia I assume to determine the size of the defect. Based on this the surgeon told me he would repair the hernia with sutures under general anesthetic but because my hernia was asymptomatic I could take the watchful waiting approach. Not comfortable undergoing general anesthetic I decided to go with watchful waiting. At that time I was not aware of the potential complications associated with mesh and was not concerned about having a mesh repair. I actually expected a mesh repair would have been recommended.

    Over time my umbilical hernia increased in size and eventually became problematic. I finally decided I needed to get it repaired. I was examined by a resident who did the finger probe and told me the hernia would be repaired open with mesh under general anesthetic. I believe the defect was just over 2cm in diameter but I’m not exactly sure. At that time I was aware of the potential complications associated with mesh and told the surgeon doing the repair I would prefer a suture repair if possible. I remember hearing the surgeon saying umbilical hernia repair with mesh just before the anesthetic was administered. After I woke up I was told the surgeon was able to repair the hernia without mesh due to the strength of my tissue.

    It has been over 4 years and the repair has not failed and I hope it continues to hold up. I will say the incision was quite painful for a few weeks after the surgery. I had to be careful getting in and out of bed. I had some abdominal swelling for a few days and the healing ridge took a few months to resolve. I followed the instructions provided by the hospital including not lifting anything over 10 pounds for 5 weeks.

    What ever you decide, I wish you all the best.


  • Scarletville

    May 26, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    I have read small umbilical hernias can be suture repaired quite simply but I doubt the NHS will do it. It will probably get worse as hernias tend to with time so personally I’d want to try get the NHS to do it before it becomes a mesh situation which they still might not be willing to do unless they consider it dangerous. If you can at least get a referral to a surgeon and ask them about the risk/reward of repairing it when it’s small it’d be helpful.

  • Mark

    May 26, 2021 at 11:57 am

    I’ll add the report from the surgeon was only three sentences long with the final one being “hopefully your pain will spontaneously improve.”
    I was hoping for a little more input than that!

  • Mike X

    May 26, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Mark; I don’t know about CT scans being able to accurately determine the size of a hernia, but I just got an ultrasound for my (bilateral reducible direct inguinal) hernia and the ultrasound report gave me lots of very detailed and helpful information about my hernias — including the exact size of each one (measured to the nearest tenth of a cm — for the length, width, and depth of each). So if it is important for you to know the size of your hernia, you may want to get an ultrasound. PS–I paid cash for my hernia ultrasound and it only cost $78 (I live in northern California), which I thought was quite reasonable and well worth it.

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