A femoral hernia is when abdominal tissues or organs push out through the abdominal wall in a weak area low down in your groin.

It happens in an area called the femoral canal, where blood vessels and nerves pass from your abdomen through to your leg. This causes a lump or swelling in your groin or at the top of your inner thigh. Femoral hernias are much more common in women than men.

When is surgery needed?

It’s usually advised that femoral hernias are repaired with surgery as soon as possible, often as soon as they’re diagnosed. This is because compared to other hernias, femoral hernias have the highest risk of strangulation. This is when the contents of the hernia become completely trapped and the blood supply is reduced or cut off. A strangulated hernia can lead to the tissue becoming infected or dying, and other complications. You’ll need emergency surgery if this happens.

How is femoral hernia repair carried out?

Femoral hernia repair may be carried out by open or keyhole surgery. Your surgeon will gently push the tissue and organs back into place. They’ll then fix the weak spot in your abdominal wall either by stitching it together or inserting a mesh. Find out more about hernia repair.

You’ll usually be able to go home the same day as your femoral hernia repair. But you might need to stay in hospital for longer if it’s done as an emergency repair.

Complications of femoral hernia repair

There is a risk of chronic pain after femoral hernia repair. This can be treated with medication or a nerve block by injection. There’s also a chance that your hernia may come back, although the risk of this is low. Other complications are similar to those for other types of hernia repair, and include infection and build-up of fluid and blood in the area.

Femoral hernia repair costs and fees

Femoral hernia repair is often available through private medical insurance. Check with your insurer whether they will cover it. You can also self-fund this treatment.

Typically, an initial consultation with the surgeon will cost between £150 and £250. The cost of the procedure itself will vary depending on the exact surgery you have.

References

  • Luo EK. Femoral hernia. Healthline. www.healthline.com, updated 17 September 2018.
  • Goethals A, Azmat C, Adams CT. Femoral hernia. StatPearls. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, last updated 5 May 2021.
  • Femoral hernias. Patient. patient.info, last edited 17 February 2016.
  • Abdominal wall hernias. Patient. patient.info, last edited 15 January 2018.
  • Hernia. Encyclopaedia Britannica. www.britannica.com, last updated 26 May 2021.

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