Preparing for your appointment

You'll likely start by seeing your primary care provider. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including when they started and how they may have changed or worsened over time
  • Key personal information, including recent life changes and family medical history
  • All medications, vitamins or supplements you take, including doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you get.

For an inguinal hernia, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's likely causing my symptoms?
  • What other possible causes are there?
  • What tests do I need?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
  • What's the best course of action?
  • What are alternatives to the approach you're suggesting?
  • If I need surgery, what will my recovery be like?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • What can I do to prevent a recurrence of this problem?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you several questions, such as:

  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Have your symptoms stayed the same or gotten worse?
  • Do you have pain in your abdomen or groin? Does anything make the pain feel worse or better?
  • What physical activity do you perform on your job? What other physical activities do you regularly engage in?
  • Do you have a history of constipation?
  • Have you had a previous inguinal hernia?
  • Do you or did you smoke? If so, how much?

What you can do in the meantime

Get emergency medical care if you develop nausea, vomiting or fever or if your hernia bulge turns red, purple or dark.

June 15, 2016
References
  1. Brooks DC, et al. Classification, clinical features and diagnosis of inguinal and femoral hernias in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 27, 2015.
  2. Ramsook C, et al. Overview of inguinal hernia in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 27, 2015.
  3. Groin hernia: Inguinal and femoral repair. American College of Surgeons. https://www.facs.org/~/media/files/education/patient%20ed/hernrep.ashx. Accessed Dec. 27, 2015.
  4. Inguinal hernia. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/inguinal-hernia/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed Dec. 27, 2015.
  5. Treadwell J, et al. Surgical options for inguinal hernia: Comparative effectiveness review, No. 70. Rockville, Md.: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK100633/.