• Not really no. An abdominal hernia is when part of the gut either protrudes through the abdominal muscle wall (at the front of your tummy, i.e. where the six pack is found), and is called a direct hernia, or when it protrudes through the inguinal canal (running in a line about halfway between the upper bony bit of your hip on your side to just about your pubic area). Because the hernia is composed of gut, it is soft tissue and is radiolucent, that is X-rays can pass more or less stright through it. This is in contrast to bones, which are radioopaque and block X-rays, therefore showing up as white areas when the image has been made negative. Therefore, bones and other dense structures show up on X-rays but herniated gut probably will not. However you can use dyes that are swallowed such as barium, which pass into the gut and that will show up on X-ray. However this is not used to diagnose hernias because the amount of gut in the hernia may be very small, and because the gut may herniate but still be at the same level (i.e. height) as where it should be normally (and this changes from person to person as well), so is very unreliable. Most hernias are usually diagnosed by a simple matter of the doctor feeling the area of problem. In thoery, MRI and CT scans could show up hernias but these are far too time-consuming, expensive and a waste of resources for something as easy to diagnose as a hernia.

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