Medical Q&As

Hernia - not sure about diagnosis?

I get acute pain on my right side on a regular basis. My GP thinks that it could be a hernia but Iím not so sure. Some nights the pain is so bad it is hard to sleep. Could you please put my mind at ease?

When I was a young doctor in training one of my teachers said that you could never reassure someone unless you explain. In other words you need to have a diagnosis and a prognosis and you need to explain these matters to a person in language that they understand. I hear your plea for reassurance but cannot really address your problem properly because we donít have a diagnosis. Either you have a hernia or you donít have a hernia and I think that you and your doctor are not of one mind in relation to the diagnosis. This difference of opinion needs to be resolved and therein resides the seeds of your reassurance. I would suggest that you go back to your doctor and tell him why you think that you donít have a hernia. If you have a good relationship with your doctor I am sure that your doctor would be happy to revisit the subject and explain the reasons for his opinion in more detail. If you donít have that type of relationship with your doctor seek another opinion. You cannot progress beyond your current state of concerns without a definite diagnosis being made. Certainly the intermittent nature of your symptoms is not suggestive of a sinister condition and on the basis of probability it is quite likely that you have a hernia. However that needs to be established beyond doubt in your mind.