Hernias are a common condition that affects both men and women. There are different types of hernias you can develop, each varying in severity.
One of the more serious types is the femoral hernia. Affecting more women than men, these types of hernias pose a greater risk of complications. So, what is a femoral hernia and how are they treated? Learn everything you need to know below.
What is a femoral hernia?
Femoral hernias occur next to the public bone, where the thigh meets the abdomen. They mostly occur when fat pushes its way through a weakened wall in the femoral canal. Measuring around an inch in diameter, occasionally the lump may be caused by the bowel pushing through, not fat. This would be a lot more serious.
These types of hernias are considered more dangerous than the common Inguinal hernia. For that reason, they are typically treated quite quickly.
What complications can they cause?
The reason femoral hernias are considered more dangerous is down to the complications they can cause. The main one is that the hernia could become strangulated.
A strangulated femoral hernia can cut off the blood supply to the bowel. If it isn’t treated, this could be fatal. Over time, without oxygen, the tissue of the intestines will start to decay. When they eventually die, the body will shut down. That is why it is so essential to seek treatment immediately if a strangulated hernia is suspected.
The femoral hernia can also become incarcerated. This is where the hernia gets stuck within the femoral canal. It won’t be able to be simply pushed back into the abdomen.
Another potential complication is the hernia could become obstructed. This means it has become entangled with a part of the intestine. If you have this complication, it will likely be very painful.
These are some of the main complications you need to be aware of. Seeking treatment early will ensure you avoid these complications.
Symptoms to watch out for
To diagnose a femoral hernia quickly, it’s good to know what symptoms to look out for. Femoral hernias typically present the following symptoms:
- A small lump in the lower groin area
- The lump won’t usually disappear when you lay down
- Stomach pain
These initial symptoms can be easy to miss alone. However, if they are accompanied by other symptoms on the list, it is a sign you may have a femoral hernia. In particular, if you notice a small lump, it should always get checked out to be on the safe side.
Treatment for a femoral hernia
A surgical procedure known as a hernia repair will be carried out to fix a femoral hernia. This can be performed using a keyhole or open method. Artificial mesh is used to help strengthen and support the weakened wall, preventing the hernia from recurring.
The best method to treat your femoral hernia will be determined during your consultation. It will depend upon the size of the hernia, alongside its severity. Book a consultation with Mr Woodward today.