If you have a femoral hernia, a surgery can fix it.
What is a femoral hernia?
Your abdominal cavity contains your intestines and other structures. These are protected by your abdominal wall, which is made up of four layers.
Weak spots can develop in the layer of muscle, resulting in the contents of your abdomen, along with the inner layer, pushing through your abdominal wall. This produces a lump called a hernia. A femoral hernia causes a lump low down in your groin. It happens at the hole in the wall of your abdomen where the femoral artery and vein pass from your abdomen into your leg.
What are the benefits of surgery?
You should no longer have the hernia. Surgery should prevent the serious complications that a hernia can cause and allow you to return to normal activities.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
Surgery is recommended as it is the only dependable way to cure the condition. It will not get better without surgery.
What does the procedure involve?
Various anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes about 45 minutes. Your surgeon will make a cut either directly over the lump or a little higher up and will remove the ‘hernial sac’. They will narrow the hole (femoral canal) through which the contents of your abdomen passed, using stitches or a synthetic mesh to allow just enough space for the femoral artery and vein. Your surgeon will close your skin.
What complications can happen?
Like all surgical procedures, there are some levels of risks to consider. Some of these can be serious and can even cause death. However, you can speak to your doctor about the following general and specific complications that may worry you.
General complications of any operation
- Infection of the surgical site (wound)
- Unsightly scarring of your skin
- Blood clot in your leg
- Blood clot in your lung
Specific complications of this operation
- Developing a collection of blood (haematoma) or fluid (seroma) under your wound
- Difficulty passing urine
- Injury or narrowing of the femoral vein
- Injury to structures that come from your abdomen and are within the hernia
- Temporary weakness of your leg
- Damage to nerves
How soon will I recover?
You should be able to go home the same day. You will need to increase how much you walk around over the first few days. However, you should be able to return to work after 2 to 4 weeks. This will depend on how much surgery you need and your type of work.
With regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice. Most people make a full recovery and can return to normal activities. However, the hernia can come back.
A femoral hernia is a common condition caused by a weakness in your abdominal wall, near the femoral canal. If left untreated, a femoral hernia can cause serious complications. To find out more, call us on 0808 101 0337.
Author: Mr Simon Parsons DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.)
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