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What does the Groin Scan include?
Reasons for a Groin Scan ..
About the Groin Scan
A groin hernia is a condition in which a portion of the intestine or other abdominal contents protrude through a weak area or tear in the muscles around the groin, specifically in the area where the abdomen meets the thigh. This can cause pain or discomfort, and in some cases, the hernia may become trapped or strangulated, which can be life-threatening. Groin hernias are typically treated with surgery.
There are several types of groin hernias, the most common of which are inguinal and femoral hernias.
Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia and occur in the inguinal canal, which is located in the groin area. They happen when a part of the intestine pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall, into the inguinal canal.
Femoral hernias occur when a part of the intestine pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall, into the femoral canal, which is located just below the inguinal canal.
In some cases, the hernia may become trapped or strangulated, which can cause serious problems and require emergency surgery. Strangulation occurs when the blood flow to the herniated tissue is cut off, which can lead to tissue death.
Groin hernias are usually treated with surgery, which is usually done on an outpatient basis and involves repairing the weak area in the abdominal wall through which the hernia is protruding. Your doctor will discuss the best treatment options for you based on your specific condition.
A groin hernia ultrasound scan is a diagnostic imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the structures inside the groin. It can be used to evaluate these structures and determine the presence of a groin hernia as well as check for fluid and lumps.
Objective of the Groin Scan
The groin scan aims to assess the soft tissues within the groin using ultrasound. The groin is a sophisticated and complex part of the human body where certain people may develop problems such as a groin hernia, groin lump or groin swelling. The groin scan uses ultrasound waves to see inside the groin to check for specific problems. It is a quick and painless test that is completely safe. The results of the groin scan are discussed with you following the scan.
The purpose of the groin ultrasound scan is to assess the groin to check for
- a groin lump
- groin swelling (fluid)
- presence of a groin hernia.
- presence of an inguinal hernia
- presence of a formal hernia
- presence of abnormal lymph nodes
What can the Groin Scan detect?
Our groin scan is used to assess for common problems in the groin which can include:
- Groin hernia (inguinal or femoral hernia)
- Groin lumps or swelling
- Some tumours and cancers
- Soft tissue masses such as lipomas, lymph nodes
- Fluid (effusion)
- Classification of a mass e.g. solid, cystic, mixed
- Post-surgical complications e.g. abscess, oedema
It is important to remember that not all lumps or bulges in the groin area are hernias. Other conditions such as lymph node swelling or lipoma can cause similar symptoms. Your scan can evaluate and if needed we can recommend further tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Why choose the scan clinic for your Groin Scan
We pride ourselves on providing the best quality service we can which is why we are trusted by GP's, doctors, physiotherapists, midwives and many other healthcare professionals.
Our mission of better quality healthcare for everyone is at the heart of everything we do and drives us to do the best we can for each and every patient that we see. Our team of experts have years of experience and are fully registered and regulated meaning you are in safe hands with us.
Benefits of having the Groin Scan
The test is painless, safe, and can be done quickly. Your doctor may require a groin ultrasound scan to plan the best treatment. It is often used in conjunction with other tests such as blood tests, clinical evaluation or a hip scan with our specialist physiotherapist. Ultrasonography is a noninvasive imaging modality and is widely used for the assessment of the groin. It can provide clinically useful information on a wide range of conditions affecting the groin and surrounding soft tissues. The Scan Clinic has expert clinical staff to assess the groin for the presence of a groin hernia.
Why do I need a Groin Scan
A groin hernia occurs when an internal part of the body pushes through a weakness in the muscle or surrounding tissue wall. In many cases, hernias cause no symptoms or very few symptoms. You may notice a swelling or lump in your tummy (abdomen) or groin that can often be pushed back in or will disappear when you lie down. Coughing or straining may make the lump reappear.
Symptoms of a groin hernia can include:
- A noticeable bulge or lump in the groin area may be more pronounced when standing or straining and may disappear when lying down.
- Pain or discomfort in the groin, especially when coughing, bending, or lifting.
- A feeling of heaviness or fullness in the groin.
- Weakness or pressure in the groin.
- Occasionally hernias may not cause any symptoms at all and are only discovered during a routine medical examination or imaging test.
It’s important to note that not all lumps or bulges in the groin area are hernias. Other conditions such as lymph node swelling or lipoma can cause similar symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
In some cases, the hernia may become trapped or strangulated, which can cause more severe symptoms such as:
- severe pain,
- nausea and vomiting
- redness and swelling of the hernia
- inability to reduce (push back) the hernia.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention as it can be a sign of a serious complication.
A groin hernia may be suspected through a physical examination. Your doctor may have examined the area of the groin and may have asked you to perform certain movements, such as coughing to help identify the hernia. A physical examination alone however is usually not enough to confirm the diagnosis. A groin scan is by far superior to a physical examination as it directly visualises the groin anatomy leading to an increase in the detection of a groin hernia, particularly when performed by an experienced clinician.
In some instances, further imaging tests may be needed following a groin ultrasound scan to establish a diagnosis.
What does the Groin Scan involve?
During the scan, you will be asked to uncover the area being scanned, hence we advise to wear suitable loose clothing and a small amount of ultrasound gel will be placed over your skin.
An ultrasound camera (‘probe’) will then be placed on top and moved along and around the area. This results in a picture appearing on the ultrasound monitor and patient TV which will be translated by the clinical specialist/ medical practitioner.
The ultrasound scan itself usually lasts around 10-15 minutes and is pain-free. At the end of the scan, a verbal summary of the results will be provided, as well as your opportunity to ask any questions.
How do I prepare*
- No specific preparation is required for this scan.
Groin Scan FAQ's
More information about the Groin Scan
To find out more about this scan and the areas / organs that are scanned as part of as well as ultrasound in general, you can head over to our knowledge centre by clicking the image or button.
- We will require details of your GP / Health Care Professional, which may be requested before or at the time of the scan.
- This scan requires access to the area of interest; therefore, it is recommended to wear loose clothing to facilitate this process.
- Study images may be available at an additional charge – more information and to request this can be found by clicking here.
- All our first line ultrasound scans are optional. You must be at least 16 years old and you should have no existing medical condition or treatment pending that relates to the scan you are booking. If you are in any doubt about having any type of scan, you should consult your GP.