We reviewed 333 consecutive herniographic studies in 306 patients for whom clinical data were available. Symptoms with either a negative or inconclusive physical examination (PE) were the most frequent reasons for requesting a herniogram. The herniogram was found to be more sensitive for the diagnosis of hernia, particularly inguinal, than PE. In 56 of 57 patients who came to operation the herniogram and the PE were concordant. In one patient, an incisional hernia was found at operation that had not been appreciated as such on the herniogram. We believe herniography should be used more frequently when the diagnosis of hernia is uncertain on PE, thereby reducing the incidence of unnecessary operative procedures.