What is a femoral hernia?
In brief, a femoral hernia is a type of inguinal hernia or groin hernia. There is a small space next to the femoral vein where it exits the body to enter the leg. As that space widens, internal adipose tissue or intestine can migrate into that space.
Where Do Femoral Hernias Form?
Femoral hernias can present as a small lump that appears and disappears located near the crease between the leg and the lower abdomen. The lump can be painless or can hurt. The lump can feel soft or hard, and can either be pushed back in (reducible) or feel stuck (incarcerated).
How are Femoral Hernias Diagnosed?
Some hernias are obvious and do not require further imaging. If the diagnosis is uncertain, then a sonogram, CT scan, or MRI may be ordered. All can help determine if you have a femoral hernia if the clinical exam is not obvious.
When is a Femoral Hernia Repair Necessary?
Dr. Jacob believes that all femoral hernias should be repaired. Waiting to repair a femoral hernia could increase the risk of strangulation, which can be avoided by performing surgery in an elective setting. If the hernia is painless or the pain is intermittent, the surgery should be scheduled but is not considered emergent. If there is continuous pain, then the surgery may be more emergent and you should contact your doctor immediately.
How is femoral hernia surgery performed?
Dr. Jacob prefers a minimally invasive (laparoscopic or robotic) approach with mesh using general anesthesia, for femoral hernias. They can be repaired using an open mesh or non mesh repair, but the recurrence rates and potentially chronic pain rates may be increased with an open approach compared to a laparoscopic or robotic approach.
What is recovery like after minimally invasive surgery for a femoral hernia?
Recovery and return to normal function after a femoral hernia is the same as after repair of an inguinal hernia as the surgery is basically the same. Most patients are able to do full and unrestricted activity within 7 to 10 days. The recovery page for inguinal hernias can be reviewed here:
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