A femoral hernia is the protrusion of a portion of abdominal contents through the femoral canal, a small passageway located near the groin. This type of hernia is more common in females but can occur in males as well. A femoral hernia can be painful and potentially dangerous, as it may become incarcerated or strangulated, leading to the restriction of blood flow to incarcerated contents (bowel) and necessitating immediate medical attention.
Indications typically include the presence of symptoms such as a noticeable bulge in the groin area, pain, or discomfort, especially when lifting heavy objects or straining during bowel movements, and an increase in the size of the bulge with standing or coughing.
If a femoral hernia becomes incarcerated (trapped) or strangulated (blood supply cut off), it becomes a medical emergency and requires immediate surgical intervention.
Before undergoing femoral hernia repair, you will receive specific preoperative instructions to ensure a successful procedure and smooth recovery. These may include:
Fasting for a certain period before the surgery to avoid potential complications during anaesthesia.
Stopping certain medications, like blood thinners, prior to surgery to reduce bleeding risk.
If you are a smoker, you may be advised to quit or reduce smoking to improve postoperative healing and reduce the risk of other complications.
A comprehensive medical evaluation will be performed to assess your overall health and identify any potential risks.
Femoral hernia repair is typically performed under general anaesthesia and can be done using open, laparoscopic, or robotic techniques:
Open Repair: An incision is made near the groin area, and the hernia is pushed back into the abdominal cavity. The weakened tissue around the hernia is then reinforced with sutures and/or a synthetic mesh to prevent recurrence.
Laparoscopic or Robotic Repair: Several small incisions are made on the abdomen, and a laparoscope (a thin tube with a camera) is inserted. Mesh is often used in laparoscopic repair as well.
Following femoral hernia repair, patients will receive postoperative instructions to promote healing and prevent complications. These may include rest and recovery, pain management, wound care, lifting restrictions and follow-up visits.
Like any surgical procedure, femoral hernia repair carries certain risks, including infection at the incision site, bleeding or haematoma formation, nerve damage leading to sensory changes or numbness, recurrence of the hernia, chronic pain, and adverse reactions to anaesthesia.
The only definitive treatment for a femoral hernia is surgical repair. Delaying surgery for an incarcerated or strangulated hernia can lead to life-threatening complications.
It’s essential for you to discuss their specific condition and medical history with Dr Moar to determine the most appropriate treatment plan tailored to your needs.