What is a femoral hernia repair?
Weak spots can develop in the layer of muscle in the abdominal wall, resulting in the contents of the abdomen pushing through. This produces a lump called a hernia (see figure 1).
A femoral hernia happens at the hole in the wall of the abdomen where the femoral artery and vein pass from the abdomen into the leg.
A hernia can be dangerous because the intestines or other structures within the abdomen can get trapped and have their blood supply cut off (strangulated hernia).
A femoral hernia repair aims to remove the hernia and prevent any complications from occurring.
What are the benefits of surgery?
You should no longer have the hernia. Surgery should prevent you from having any serious complications that a hernia can cause.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
The hernia will not go away without an operation.
What does the operation involve?
A variety of anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes about three-quarters of an hour. Your surgeon will make a cut in your groin and remove the ‘hernial sac’. They will then narrow the hole (femoral canal), through which the contents of the abdomen passed, using stitches or a synthetic mesh.
What complications can happen?
General complications of any operation:
- Infection of the surgical site (wound)
- Unsightly scarring
- Blood clots
Specific complications of this operation:
- Developing a lump under the wound
- Difficulty passing urine
- Injury or narrowing of the femoral vein
- Injury to structures within the hernia
- Temporary weakness of the leg
- Injury to nerves
How soon will I recover?
You should be able to go home the same day or the day after.
You should increase how much you walk around over the first few days after your operation.
You should be able to return to work after two to four weeks depending on the extent of surgery and your type of work.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
Occasionally the hernia comes back.
Femoral hernia repair summary
A femoral hernia is a common condition caused by a weakness in the abdominal wall, near the femoral canal. If left untreated, a femoral hernia can occasionally cause serious complications.
Paying for your procedure
Femoral hernia repair costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own procedure the cost will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the procedure. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.
Author: Mr Simon Parsons DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.)
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