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There are many types of hernia. A femoral hernia causes a lump low down in your groin, which can be repaired through femoral hernia repair surgery.
These are protected by your abdominal wall, which is made up of four layers.
Weak spots can develop in the layer of muscle wall, resulting in the contents of your abdomen (along with the inner layer) pushing through your abdominal wall.
This produces a lump called a hernia. A femoral hernia causes a lump low down in your groin, close to your lymph nodes.
It happens at the hole in the wall of your abdomen where the femoral artery and vein pass from your abdomen into your leg.
Femoral hernias in women (particularly older women) are more common than femoral hernias in men. This is because of the wider shape of the female pelvis.
A build-up of pressure within the abdomen can push a piece of the intestine into the femoral canal (this is tubular passage at the front of your thigh). This pressure can vary from prolonged constipation, swelling of your internal organs (such as the bowels themselves), obesity, or ascites (a fluid build-up in the abdomen). Likewise, pregnancy can cause inguinal hernias in the mother for the same reason.
Straining on the toilet, whether for passing a stool or urinating, can force the intestine to pop out of the femoral canal. If you are giving birth, the likelihood of a femoral hernia developing increases as the pressure on the lower abdomen increases.
Engaging in heavy lifting, such as in the gym, in your workplace, or at home, can increase the risk of developing a femoral hernia.
Long-term, chronic, or heavy coughs can shock your intestine into pushing through a weak spot around your femoral canal.
It is important to have a femoral hernia treated quickly, as there is a high risk of it becoming strangulated and rupturing within your femoral canal. This is because of the position of the femoral artery (around your groin and leg joint).
An inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia. It can present as swelling or a lump in your groin. The swelling may be painful.
Inguinal hernias often don't cause any severe symptoms and can be treated effectively with surgery.
Femoral hernias are a more uncommon type of hernia. They can cause more problems because they are more likely to "pinch" a part of the bowel. However, femoral hernias can also be treated effectively through surgery.
Large hernias may be more noticeable and can cause some discomfort. A bulge may be visible in the groin area near your upper thigh. Studies show that inguinal hernias often don't cause any severe symptoms.
Femoral hernias, on the other hand, can cause more problems because they are more likely to pinch a part of the bowel. The condition my lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction or a strangulated hernia. However, these are separate medical conditions.
The bulging may become worse and can cause pain when you stand up, lift heavy objects, or strain.
Femoral hernia pain often presents as a painful lump that can worsen significantly.
Femoral hernias are often located very close to the hip bone and as a result may cause hip pain.
Severe femoral hernia symptoms can signify that a femoral hernia is obstructing your intestines. Severe symptoms of a femoral hernia may include:
Seek immediate medical attention if you suffer from these symptoms. Emergency treatment can fix the hernia and save your life.
Generally, Consultants prefer key-hole surgery as a form of surgical repair. It is quicker, less invasive, and means you can recover quicker. The time between diagnosis and private hernia surgery is often less than a month, ensuring you receive rapid treatment.
Various anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes about 45 minutes.
Your surgeon will make a cut either directly over the lump or a little higher up and will remove the hernial sac. They will then narrow the hole (femoral canal) through which the contents of your abdomen passed, using stitches or a synthetic mesh to allow just enough space for the femoral artery and vein.
Using a lightweight, synthetic mesh, our Consultants push the femoral hernia out of the femoral canal and back into the abdominal cavity. They then cover it in a lightweight synthetic mesh which strengthens the abdominal wall, preventing the hernia from popping out again. This technique is referred to as an umbrella hernia repair.
Previous patients who have received this treatment with mesh have recommended it rather than a manual pulling of the muscles together to heal the weakness, which can be more intrusive. This less invasive surgery takes 45 minutes from start to finish, and is a day case, meaning you can arrive and leave on the day of the surgery.
Risks associated with femoral hernia surgery are generally uncommon, however, they still exist.
Your Consultant will advise you on the following risks: general surgical difficulties, such as blood clots, damage to your internal organs, nerve damage, scarring and infections from the wound.
More pertinent to femoral hernia surgery is that there may be difficulty passing urine or stools after the surgery, as well as temporary weakness around the leg joint and muscles down the leg.
Like all surgical procedures, there are some levels of risks to consider. Some of these can be serious and can even cause death.
However, you can speak to your doctor about the following general and specific complications that may worry you.
General complications of any operation
Specific complications of this operation
This will depend on how much surgery you need and your field of work. With regular exercise, you should be able to return to normal activities as soon as possible.
A femoral hernia is a common condition caused by a weakness in your abdominal wall, near the femoral canal.
If left untreated, a femoral hernia can cause serious complications.
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