These are much less common than inguinal hernias and occur mainly in women. They are found below the crease line in the groin and occur because of widening of the femoral ring at the top of the femoral canal.
In women this more likely for two reasons: 1) women have a wider pelvis by comparison to men and therefore this potential defect for hernias is increased; and 2) during pregnancy the ligaments tend to stretch to allow accommodation of the baby’s head into the birth canal and so the femoral ring may also be stretched allowing a larger defect to be created.
Why must a femoral hernia be repaired
There is a much higher incidence of strangulation of the bowel or part of the bowel wall where it is trapped in the femoral ring because this is a relatively rigid structure.
How are femoral hernias treated?
Most femoral hernias are easily repaired by open surgery with stitches. It is only in respect of hernias which are either recurrent or which affect both sides that a laparoscopic mesh approach may be advocated. One of the added benefits of laparoscopic inguinal hernia mesh repair is that as the size of the mesh is necessarily large, it not only covers both indirect and direct inguinal defects but also covers the femoral ring and so prevents the potential development of a femoral hernia.
How long does it take to recover after femoral hernia repair?
You can have this repaired as a day case or as an overnight stay. Recovery is usually about 7 days for most patients. Your ability to drive a car is governed by being able to put your right foot on the brake pedal to perform an emergency stop without inhibition (automatic transmissions) or both feet on the clutch and brake pedals (manual transmissions). Avoidance of heavy lifting or straining for three months is recommended to allow the tissues to reach their maximal tensile strength and therefore reduce the risk of recurrence.