Inguinal hernias are protrusions of the intestine, fat or another organ (commonly the stomach, ovaries or bladder) through weakened abdominal wall tissue. Straining or being overweight can increase intra-abdominal pressure and the risk of a hernia.
Inguinal hernias are common in men and are easy to diagnose with a simple exam. On the other hand, occult hernias (hidden hernias) tend to have few visible symptoms and are more common in women.
What is a Hidden Hernia?
A hidden hernia is an undetectable mass of herniated tissue. Neither a physical exam nor an ultrasound is likely to detect it.
While they are too small to be readily diagnosed, they are large enough to cause intense pelvic or groin pain. In many cases, hernias are unnoticeable because they do not bulge.
Patients usually report stabbing leg and lower back pain as the primary symptoms. Additional symptoms include lower abdominal bloating, bladder pain and vaginal pain and burning.
Other Conditions Often Mistaken for a Hernia
A hidden hernia is often misdiagnosed as endometriosis, ovarian cysts or fibroids, since these conditions cause similar pain problems in the same regions.
While a hernia is the most common cause of abdominal lumps, other possibilities include a lipoma, hematoma, gynecological issue (in females) or an undescended testicle in newborn boys.
A lump may also indicate a tumor. Therefore, if you feel or see a lump you cannot identify or are experiencing pain or other hernia symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.
How is a Hidden Hernia Diagnosed and Treated?
A hernia can cause pain that worsens during certain activities. The point of tenderness will be in the vicinity of the hip bone.
Certain situations may worsen hidden hernia pain, like when laughing, coughing, getting out of bed, some exercises and anything causing abdominal pressure.
Ultrasound scans do not reliably detect hidden hernias. Therefore, patients with clinical suspicion of an inguinal hernia should be imaged, with MRI being the most sensitive radiologic examination.
Core Surgical’s knowledgeable and experienced, board-certified surgical specialists use every advanced imaging tool available to diagnose hidden hernias. As a result, they can detect the presence of an occult hernia that a routine physical examination would miss. In some cases, only a laparoscopic procedure can positively identify an occult hernia, which can then be corrected.
Hidden Hernia Treatment in New York
When you have persistent and unexplained groin or pelvic pain in New York, trust the experts at Core Surgical with your diagnosis and treatment. At our clinic on East 58th Street in Manhattan, we locate and treat occult inguinal hernias. Please book an appointment with our office today for yourself or a family member.