A New Jersey hospital patient with symptoms of a hernia might be surprised to receive a negative diagnosis after having imaging performed. However, experts indicate that the lack of a bulge in connection with groin pain could create some challenges for those needing to diagnose a condition and prescribe treatment. The primary problem in making a diagnosis seems to stem from radiology activity. Statistics show that the accurate diagnosis of certain types of hernias can range from 7 percent to 33 percent, which are poor rates.
Hernias that involve both small and large bowel areas tend to be effectively diagnosed through CT scans and MRI. However, inguinal hernias are often missed in spite of the presence of abdominal pain. Effective communication between a surgeon and a radiologist could potentially improve the results in this area of imaging. As a surgeon specifies their suspicion, for example, a radiologist might adjust their imaging methods accordingly. Information about a patient's history might provide further justification for moving beyond initial imaging methods.
While an MRI can be much more accurate in evaluating a hernia, it is possible to face conflict from insurance providers. Explaining the benefits of MRI testing could make an approval easier. Explicit instructions are viewed as an important element for obtaining the best imaging outcomes possible.
A missed diagnosis of a hernia might not warrant a medical malpractice claim if the type of hernia is typically difficult to diagnose. However, a provider's failure to further evaluate a patient's complaint of severe abdominal pain could lead to a negative outcome. Factors such as the location of pain, the presence or absence of fever, and difficulty walking might warrant further medical evaluation. A physician's poor handling of an investigation could justify medical malpractice action.