The Femoral Hernia

Hernias are all about a small or large hole in the fascia through which fatty tissue, intestines, or in rare cases, organs push can their way through. That’s the job of our muscles to keep these structures in place, but sometimes if a person has a weakened spot, a portion of intra-abdominal tissue pushes through the wall. That’s a hernia. 

If the tissue pushes through the wall of the femoral canal, it’s called a femoral hernia.  It is actually in the similar region as an inguinal hernia. 

A femoral hernia is far less common than an inguinal hernia, but it can be potentially dangerous and in general, they should all be repaired. 

Dr. Jacob is an expert treating all types of hernias. He can help you with a femoral hernia. 

What is a femoral hernia? 

When an intestine or other abdominal tissue pushes through the wall of the femoral canal a bulge will often appear near the groin or thigh. This is a femoral hernia. It is located below the inguinal ligament. The location on your body is on the inner part of the crease between your leg and your belly. 

Who gets a femoral hernia? 

Women are more likely than men to get a femoral hernia, but these hernias are uncommon. Fewer than three percent of all hernias are femoral. Most femoral hernias don’t cause symptoms. Occasionally, however, if the hernia obstructs or blocks blood flow to your intestines, this is a strangulated hernia, and these require immediate surgery. 

What causes femoral hernias? 

Some people are born with a weakened area of the femoral canal or the area may become weak over time. 

Straining can contribute to the weakening of the muscle walls. These factors can create this type of straining: 

  •     Childbirth
  •     Chronic constipation
  •     Heavy lifting
  •     Being overweight
  •     Difficult urination due to an enlarged prostate
  •     Chronic coughing

What are the symptoms of a femoral hernia? 

The two main symptoms are a buldge (lump) and / or localized nonradiating pain.  You may not even realize you have a femoral hernia. Small hernias don’t usually cause any symptoms, and you may not see the bulge on your skin. Large femoral hernias will be noticeable, and they may cause some pain. The bulge will be visible in the groin area near your upper thigh. The bulging may become worse and can cause pain when you stand up, lift heavy objects, or strain in any way. 

Treatment of Femoral Hernia 

Femoral hernias can either be safely watched or surgically repaired.  A small femoral hernia may be more painful than a large one, or it may not need any treatment. Recommendations may vary depending on your presentation and your medical conditions.  If Dr. Jacob decides to manage your hernia without surgery, he will keep a close eye on you over the following years to make sure symptoms are not developing. 

For the majority of femoral hernias however, or hernias that could be obstructing your intestines, Dr. Jacob will recommend a laparoscopic femoral hernia repair, with mesh. This repair is identical to a laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair.   Dr. Jacob has performed thousands of these types of repairs. He prefers to use laparoscopic surgery because of the technique’s ongoing contribution to a rapid, pain-free, and near risk-free recovery with quick return to your usual daily activities without concern for recurrences or chronic pain. Repairing a femoral hernia without mesh is possible, and is done using an open incision technique,  not laparoscopic.  If you are interested in nonmesh femoral hernia repair, please discuss this with Dr. Jacob.

Recovery

Recovery is rapid and is exactly the same as after a laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia repair.  The Recovery can be read about here 

Do you have symptoms of a femoral hernia? If it’s causing pain, it’s time to see Dr. Jacob, New York’s preeminent hernia specialist. Call us at 212-879-6677 to schedule your appointment.

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