A femoral hernia, like other types of hernia, occurs when a part of the body internally pushes through a weakness in the abdominal wall. Here, we look at what a femoral hernia is, the causes and symptoms, the surgery needed, and finally, some of the possible risks.
A femoral hernia is uncommon and is responsible for around 5-10% of all groin hernias. It usually presents as a sore lump in the inner part of the thigh or groin. The lump can be pushed back in or disappears completely when you lie down. Straining in any way, like when coughing or sneezing, can cause the hernia to become more pronounced. The lump may not reduce (disappear) and may be painful. A painful and irreducible groin lump should be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Small hernias may not cause any symptoms. Larger hernias, though, may be more noticeable and can cause pain and discomfort. The most common symptom is a bulge that may be visible and palpable in the groin area. The bulging may get worse when you strain in anyway when coughing, lifting heavy objects, or moving. Due to femoral hernias being very close to the hip bone, it may also mimick hip pain. A painful and irreducible groin lump should be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Femoral hernias are more common in women, particularly older women. This is because of the wider shape of the female pelvis. Femoral hernias can sometimes appear suddenly because of strain on the tummy, such as:
● Straining on the toilet
● Lifting heavy objects
● Persistent, heavy cough
There are two different ways in which a surgeon can remove your hernia. Both ways require surgery and have to take place at a hospital. The two types of hernia surgery are:
You will need a general anaesthetic when undergoing this type of repair. Your abdomen will be inflated with a harmless gas, which provides your surgeon a view of the hernia from the inside. Some small incisions in the abdominal wall allow for a tiny camera and key hole instruments access and using the images from the camera, mesh will be inserted to repair the hernia.
There tends to be a quicker recovery time with laparoscopic surgery and the risk of long term discomfort from the repair is reduced compared with open surgery.
Again, this type of surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. An incision through the skin over the hernia allows access to the weakened area. This allows the repair most usually with a mesh. This surgery takes longer to recover from and the risk of chronic groin pain is increased compared with key hole surgery.
Hernia surgery is normally a safe procedure. However, all surgeries can come with some risks, these include:
● Feeling sore and some pain after
● Blood clots
● The hernia may return
If in some cases you are unable to have surgery or if it is not recommended to you, other treatments are available. You may be recommended to wear a corset, binder or truss. This will ensure that your hernia stays in place and will also ease any discomfort.
If you have any questions about femoral hernias or the surgical repair process, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your symptoms and more.