Weak spots or tears 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.
A femoral hernia (like an inguinal hernia) appears in the groin. Femoral hernias happen at the hole in the wall of the abdomen where the femoral artery and vein pass from the abdomen into the leg. These hernias are more common in women tend to occur following childbirth.
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).
What happens during femoral hernia repair surgery?
A variety of anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes less than an hour. Your surgeon will make an incision (cut) in your groin and remove the "hernial sac". They will strengthen the muscle layer with stitches and will usually insert a synthetic mesh to cover the weak spot.
Sometimes this operation is done using minimally invasive laparoscopic (key hole) surgery. You should discuss which method will be used with your surgeon.
Going home after femoral hernia repair
Recovery from hernia repair is usually very quick. You will probably go home the day of the surgery. You will be mobile very soon after the procedure and will be encouraged to increase how much you walk around over the first few days post surgery. Many patients return to normal day to day activities within the first week.
You should not do any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for one month. Please discuss your return to work with your surgeon prior to discharge from the hospital. Occasionally the hernia comes back.
What complications can happen?
Every surgical procedure has a risk of complications. Be sure and discuss any concerns you might have about these risks with your surgeon.
General complications of any operation:
- Infection in a surgical wound
- Blood clots
- Unsightly scarring
Specific complications of femoral hernia repair surgery:
- 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
Why not print this treatment page so you can discuss any concerns you have with your surgeon?