Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions, such as not eating after midnight on the night before your appointment.
- Write down your symptoms, including when they started and how they may have changed or worsened over time.
- Write down your key medical information, including other diagnosed conditions.
- Write down key personal information, including any recent changes or stressors in your life.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Questions to ask your doctor
Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is the most likely cause of my condition?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- What treatments can help?
- If I need surgery, what will my recovery be like?
- Is there anything I can do to prevent a recurrence of this problem?
Don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Be ready to answer questions your doctor may ask:
- 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?
- Do you notice a bulge in your groin when you stand up, cough, strain or lift heavy objects?
- 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?
- Have any of your close relatives — a parent or sibling — had an inguinal hernia?
- Do you or did you smoke? If so, how much?
What you can do in the meantime
While you're waiting for your appointment, get emergency medical care if you develop nausea, vomiting or fever or if your hernia bulge turns red, purple or dark.
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- Inguinal hernia. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/inguinalhernia/#what. Accessed Jan. 8, 2013.
- Mizrahi H, et al. Management of asymptomatic inguinal hernia: A systematic review of the evidence. Archives of Surgery. 2012;147:277.
- AskMayoExpert. What are the most common types of hernia that occur in children? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Matthews RD, et al. Inguinal hernia in the 21st century: An evidence-based review. Current Problems in Surgery. 2008;45:261.
- Karthikesalingam A, et al. Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing laparoscopic with open mesh repair of recurrent inguinal hernia. British Journal of Surgery. 2010;97:4.