A physician performing a physical exam can determine if a person's symptoms are caused by a hernia, according to WebMD. Ultrasounds and X-rays determine if there is a bowel obstruction. A hernia can often be seen as a swollen area in the abdomen when a person is standing upright.
An endoscopy is performed if there are any concerns of complications, including inflammation, bleeding or ulcers, according to MedicineNet. A doctor considers the patient's medical history during the evaluation. Many hernia patients feel pain, nausea, vomiting or fever, and the condition is frequently treated with surgery to repair the hernia wall and reduce the risk of bowel strangulation.