I had a CAT scan it showed no hernia. Could I have a hernia or diastasis recti and it not show on the cat scan?

I had a cat scan it showed no hernia. Could I have a hernia or diastasis recti and it not show on the cat scan?

Doctor Answers 7

I had a CAT scan it showed no hernia. Could I have a hernia or diastasis recti and it not show on the cat scan?

It may have missed a small hernia or diastasis.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA....................

I had a CAT scan it showed no hernia. Could I have a hernia or diastasis recti and it not show on the cat scan?

Uncomplicated hernia and diastasis are diagnosed by clinical exam. They can be missed by CAT scan. Best is to seek a consultation in person from a surgeon in your city for proper evaluation and advice.

Maan Kattash, MD, FRCS, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Hernia not seen on CT scan

A CT scan may not show a small hernia because you are lying on your back when you perform the study.  Thus a small defect may not be seen.  A physical exam my detect a small hernia not seen on CT scan.

It is possible to miss a hernia on ctscan

tests such as CT scans  are simply an adjunt to a clinical exam by your surgeon.  if your surgeon feels a defect on physical exam, it is probably there, just not seen on ct scan.

A diastasis recti is not always obvious on ct scans.


good luck

Marwan R. Khalifeh, MD
Chevy Chase Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Do I have a hernai or diastasis, if not seen on cat scan

a hernia is an actual defect in the muscles surrounding the abdominal cavity, through which contents can protrude and get stuck, creating the need for an operation.  If the hernia is reduced (i.e. tissue is not bulging through the opening), it may not be seen on CAT scan.  A diastasis is a separation of the muscles in the midline of the abdomen due to pregnancy or massive weight gain.  This separation of the muscles can frequently be seen on CAT scan.  Unlike a hernia, a diastasis does not require an operation but can be fixed as part of an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) in order to tighten the muscular foundation of the abdominal wall and give a flatter overall appearance.  The correction of hernias is usually considered medically necessary and covered by insurance.  The correction of a diastasis is not considered medically necessary and therefore not covered by insurance

Brent Birely, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Weakened abdominal wall

Yes, you could have a hernia or rectus diastasis that did not show up on your CT scan. Often times during a tummy tuck a small hernia and a rectus diastasis is identified which is typically repaired during the tummy tuck. Consult with a plastic surgeon for a thorough examination of your anatomy and to determine if you are a tummy tuck candidate.


Best wishes,

Dr.Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 334 reviews

No hernia on CT scan

Thank you so much for your question about a tummy tuck.

Assuming the CT scan was done and read correctly, it really should show a large hernia, it can miss a small one. A small hernia is best diagnosed by a careful physical examination. 
A CT scan should show a diastasis. A tummy tuck is often done without a diastasis however - very often the muscles are stretched but the connection between the left and right side is not.  If you have symptoms of a hernia, be sure to be examined by an experienced Board Certified General or Plastic Surgeon.  


Here’s hoping you find this helpful. Have a great day!

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