A hernia can occur due to an inherent weakness of the abdominal wall muscles where the organs move out of its own cavity and protrude through the weakened area. A femoral hernia develops right below the inguinal ligament when contents of the abdomen slip through the femoral canal. Femoral hernias are relatively uncommon and more frequently affect adults. It mostly impacts women than men due to the slightly wider pelvis in females and a consequently larger femoral canal.
Reducible femoral hernia: when a femoral hernia reduces back or can be pushed back spontaneously
Irreducible femoral hernia: when a hernia is stuck in the femoral canal
Obstructed femoral hernia: intestinal obstruction due to intertwining of the intestines with a hernia; this can cause pain
Strangulated femoral hernia: blood supply to a part of the bowel is blocked causing strangulation; gangrene usually follows necrosis of the intestine; this is a life-threatening condition requiring emergency medical treatment
Signs And Symptoms
Bulge or lump in the groin is noticed
Lump differs in size during the day depending on intraabdominal pressures applied
Hip pain due to the presence of a femoral hernia close to the hip
More severe symptoms as a result of strangulation:
Sudden groin pain
Severe stomach pain
Causes And Risk Factors
Heavy lifting of loads
Pregnancy and child birth
Enlarged prostate makes urination difficult
Femoral hernia is diagnosed by clinical examination
In case a doubt arises in diagnosis, an ulttrasound scan of the groin is done
Femoral hernias causing any discomfort, mainly moderate to large lumps require surgical repair. Femoral hernia is more prone for complications, especially strangulation, because of the narrow neck of the hernia. The operation is performed under general anaesthesia and can be either open or laparoscopic surgery depending on surgical recommendations.
In a strangulated hernia, the bowel survives between 8 to 12 hours during which medical attention is crucial. Dr. Deepak Varma treats, operates and counsels patients about femoral hernias and their management.