This page will give you information about a femoral hernia repair. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.
You can also download and print a PDF version of this factsheet, with space for your own questions or notes.
What is a femoral hernia?
Weak spots can develop in the layer of muscle in your abdominal wall, resulting in the contents of your abdomen pushing through. This produces a lump called a hernia.
A femoral hernia happens at the hole in the wall of your abdomen where the femoral artery and vein pass from your abdomen into your leg.
A hernia can be dangerous because your intestines or other structures within your abdomen can get trapped and have their blood supply cut off (strangulated hernia).
What are the benefits of surgery?
You should no longer have the hernia. Surgery should prevent the serious complications that a hernia can cause.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
The hernia will not get better without surgery.
What does the operation involve?
Various anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes about 45 minutes.
Your surgeon will make a cut either directly above the lump or a little higher up and will remove the ‘hernial sac’. They will narrow the hole (femoral canal) through which the contents of the abdomen passed, using stitches or a synthetic mesh. Your surgeon will close your skin.
What complications can happen?
- infection of the surgical site (wound)
- unsightly scarring
- blood clots
- developing a collection of blood or fluid
- difficulty passing urine
- injury or narrowing of the femoral vein
- injury to structures that come from your abdomen and are within the hernia
- temporary weakness of your leg
- injury to nerves
How soon will I recover?
You should be able to go home the same day.
Increase how much you walk around over the first few days.
You should be able to return to work after 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how much surgery you need and your type of work.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
The hernia can come back.
A femoral hernia is a common condition caused by a weakness in your abdominal wall, near the femoral canal. If left untreated, a femoral hernia can cause serious complications.
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Last reviewed: September 2018