What Is a Femoral Hernia?
The femoral hernia, which is more often seen in women, occurs when a part of the intestine pushes through a weakness in the muscle wall/femoral canal of the groin/upper leg. This is the canal that contains the large blood vessels and nerves of the leg, right in the upper and inner part of the thigh.
Femoral Hernia Symptoms
Sometimes, femoral hernia might not present any symptoms. However, in those larger hernias, the main symptom is the formation of a bulge in the femoral canal or in your groin. This bulge can become painful after certain activities like coughing, being upright or lifting heavy objects.
Causes of Femoral Hernia
Femoral hernia can appear as the consequence of a birth defect in the inguinal canal or as a gradual weakening of the abdominal muscle wall through the years. In any case, the following conditions might increase the risk of hernia:
- Prolonged cough
- Being overweight
- Lifting, carrying or pushing heavy loads
- Premature birth
Femoral Hernia Treatment
Small cases of femoral hernia don’t require any specific treatment. However, moderate to large femoral hernia require surgical repair. At King’s we primarily use the Laparoscopic technique, which has the benefits of being less invasive procedure and reducing recovery times.
During Surgery – Laparoscopic Technique
After the anesthetic has been applied, your doctor will make 3-4 small incisions in your skin (close the groin), and push the hernial sac into place. Then, your abdominal wall defect will be repaired and, in some cases, the doctor will insert a synthetic mesh to cover the weak spot. After that, your skin will be closed back again using stitches. The operation usually takes about 45 minutes.
According to your recovery and progression, you might be able to go home the same day. At home, feeling some discomfort and swelling in the wound will be normal for a couple of weeks.
Usually returning to work is possible after 2 weeks, however you should avoid lifting heavy objects or strenuous activities for at least 5-6 weeks.