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Femoral Hernia

What is a femoral hernia?

A femoral hernia is a weakness or defect on the abdominal wall in the groin area specifically through the femoral ring. Internal organs may push through the weakness or defect causing discomfort, pain and a noticeable bulge.

The anatomy of a hernia can be compared to a bulge in the inner tube of a tyre. When the tyre is damaged, the inner tube pushes and bulges through the opening of the tyre. Similarly, when a hernia occurs, the inner layer of the abdominal wall may push against and through the abdominal wall defect. In some cases, a hernia may cause only slight discomfort whereas in other cases, a hernia may block digestion and may cause severe pain requiring immediate medical attention.

Some hernias may be acquired hernias, while others are caused by a congenital weakness, which means a weakness that you can be born with.

  • Acquired hernias may be caused by lifting heaving objects, extreme weight gain or persistent coughing.

How is it treated?

Whether your hernia is a congenital or acquired, surgery is the only way to repair your hernia. Two types of hernia repair surgery:

  • Open surgery is performed by cutting through the abdominal wall to reach the hernia defect. The incision can range from 5cm to 10cm in length.
  • In laparoscopic (keyhole hernia repair), a laparoscope is used. Three small incisions are made to allow the doctor to see through a laparoscope whilst they operate inside the body. These incisions are made between the groin and navel and can range from 0.6cm to 1.3cm, minimising post-operative discomfort and scarring prompting fast healing and allowing for a quicker return to normal activities.

Post-operation information

  • After waking from your operation, you may have a feeling of discomfort in the groin.
  • Occasionally, some people experience a little abdominal bloating. This should pass within a few hours.
  • Early mobilization is encouraged (as soon as you feel able).
  • Discharge home is usually after one night in hospital. However, it can be the same day as surgery.
  • Swelling and bruising of the genitalia is common.
  • Your dressings are waterproof and you can shower.
  • Dressings should not be removed until your post operative appointment.
  • Driving is permitted 3-5 days post surgery. Begin with short journeys.
  • Return to work can be as soon as one week post your operation, depending on the work you do.
  • Heavy lifting and strenuous activity (such as going to the gym) should be avoided until four weeks after your operation.

More information

All of the information you need to know, pre and post-operatively, will be made available to you in separate information packs given to you before and after your surgery. Our practice nurse, will also be able to assist you with any questions that you might have at any time