About Femoral Hernia
A femoral hernia results from an enlargement of the femoral canal. This normal anatomical structure is just below the pubic bone in the groin and widening of this defect allows the protrusion of usually some fat down the femoral canal just medial (inside) to the femoral artery and vein as they travel down the thigh into the leg.
The usual presentation is discomfort and swelling in this region. It is one of the few hernias that are more predisposed to strangulation and therefore a patient presenting with a femoral hernia should undergo a repair without undue delay.
The standard repair is reduction of the hernia and obliteration of the canal. This can be done by an open technique by making an incision in the groin and placing some sutures across the defect. Alternatively it can be done via a laparoscopic (extraperitoneal) approach whereby mesh is placed on the inside of the defect. Both approaches result in a satisfactory repair in the vast majority of cases.
Patients who present with strangulation may require an exploratory laparotomy (whereby the abdomen is opened) mainly to achieve a reduction of the loop of small bowel and importantly to check its viability.
A routine mesh repair is performed under general anaesthesia and the vast majority of patients go home the same day.