Is it common practice to not have x-rays done when a doctor has decided you need an umbilical hernia surgery?

Doctor Answers 7

X-ray Needed for Umbilical Hernia Repair?

An X-ray of an umbilical hernia will not show anything. This is a soft tissue problem and the diagnosis is made by physical exam. An ultrasound could be done to confirm the hernia but it would be an unnecessary expense and would not contribute to planning the surgical repair.

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

No X-ray

An umbilical hernia is a clinical diagnosis. It is diagnosed by the examining hand. An x-ray would not show an umbilical hernia. A CT scan would, but this is often unnecessary as it can be felt by the surgeon when he or she examines you. Some docs will order imaging no matter what, just to create a trail of their thought process. It is not necessary and saved you some $$ Best wishes,

J. Michael Morrissey, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Umbilical Hernia Repair

Umbilical hernias are diagnosed by clinical exam.  Therefore, no X ray or imaging study is necessary.  The repair is simple and can often be performed under local anesthesia.  Good luck.

Gilbert Lee, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Hernia Diagnosis

A hernia is normally a physical diagnosis. If there is an extensive hernia or a suspicion for a larger problem associated with the small bowel then a scan might be indicated. Most normal hernias can be diagnosed without this. Continue to follow up with your surgeon to ensure that you progress as planned.  Best of luck, Vincent Marin, MD San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews


An umbilical hernia usually is diagnose during the physical examination, and  X rays or CT scans are not needed. Usually the treatment is done with a direct approach, to close the muscle defect.

Juan Carlos Fuentes, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

X-ray and umbilical hernias

Thank you for your question.It is uncommon to need any imaging studies to evaluate and treat a small umbilical hernia with a good history and physical exam.  If I were worried about the size of the hernia or if there was any bowel in the hernia the study that would give the best information would be a contrasted CT scan.

Best Dr. L

Andre Levesque, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Are X Rays Needed to Diagnose an Umbilical Hernia?

  • It it not necessary to obtain any imaging studies to diagnose a small umbilical hernia.  In fact, it would be uncommon to get an x ray or CT scan for an umbilical hernia, as these can be diagnosed on physical examination. 
  • At the time of a tummy tuck, umbilical hernias may also be repaired. 

Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.