What is Femoral Hernia?
A femoral hernia occurs when an organ displaces from its original place through a weak point in the muscle wall in the groin or inner thigh area.
When few tissues get pushed through the femoral canal, located just below the inguinal ligament in the groin, it is known as a femoral hernia. The canal consists of arteries, smaller veins, and nerves.
Also known as femorocele, this type of hernia is more common in women than men.
Causes of Femoral Hernia
The main cause of femoral hernia is the weakening of the femoral canal- it is a space that contains fat and lymph nodes. The weakening of the muscle walls can be due to excessive straining.
Risk factors of Femoral Hernia
Some people are at a higher risk of developing a femoral hernia than others. Some of the risk factors that increase the chances of femoral hernia are-
- Straining during bowel movements due to chronic constipation
- Heavy lifting
- Suffering from respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heavy coughing
- Giving birth
- A buildup of abdominal fluid
Symptoms of Femoral Hernia
In severe conditions when the hernia obstructs the intestines, there can be severe symptoms. Some of the severe symptoms of a femoral hernia are-
- Severe abdominal pain
- Severe pain in the groin area
- Feeling of nausea
- Unable to pass gas
- Tenderness or worsening pain around the swelling
- Rapid heart rate
- Redness of the skin around the bulge
Diagnosing Femoral Hernia
The diagnosis of femoral hernia majorly includes a physical examination. At the clinic, the doctor touches the herniated area after having a good look at it to feel any bulge.
Followed by this, the doctor recommends an ultrasound of the abdominal and groin area to confirm the diagnosis if no bulge can be felt during physical examination.
With the results of ultrasound for femoral hernia, the general surgeon is able to see the exact location of the defect in the muscle wall as well as displaced tissue.
Complications of Femoral Hernia
Leaving a femoral hernia untreated for long can prove to be fatal later. Some of the complications of femoral hernia are- becoming trapped, obstructed or strangulated.
- Incarcerated femoral hernia- When the hernia becomes trapped in the femoral canal such that it gets permanently stuck in the abdomen, it is known to be incarcerated.
- Obstructed femoral hernia- When the hernia and protruded intestinal area get intertwined, it is known as an obstructed hernia which can lead to extreme pain in the intestines.
- Strangulated femoral hernia- When the blood supply to the herniated tissue is cut off, it is said that the hernia is strangulated. This leads to the death of the tissue.
A strangulated hernia often releases harmful toxins into the blood that can lead to sepsis or death. In such cases, immediately seek medical help as this is an emergency.
Treatment of Femoral Hernia
A femoral hernia can be cured in 2 ways-
- Open surgery- In this type of hernia repair, the doctor makes a large incision and then puts back the organ back to its place. The wound is then closed with stitches. As the wound is large, the recovery also takes longer.
- Laparoscopic surgery- In this type of surgery, the doctor uses a laparoscope. With the help of this device, the doctor completes the procedure of the hernia repair. This method ensures minimum blood loss, faster recovery, and minimal post-operative pain.
Both surgeries are performed under the influence of anesthesia. The protruded organ from the femoral area is returned to its position. To strengthen the weakened area, a 3D mesh is placed in the area before sewing up.
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