Femoral hernia repair
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.
What is a femoral hernia?
Your abdominal cavity contains your intestines and other structures. These are protected by your abdominal wall, which is made up of four layers.
Weak spots can develop in the layer of muscle, resulting in the contents of your abdomen, along with the inner layer, pushing through your abdominal wall. This produces a lump called a hernia.
A femoral hernia causes a lump low down in your groin. It happens at the hole in the wall of your abdomen where the femoral artery and vein pass from your abdomen into your leg.
What are the benefits of surgery?
You should no longer have the hernia. Surgery should prevent the serious complications that a hernia can cause and allow you to return to normal activities.
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 over 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 your abdomen passed, using stitches or a synthetic mesh to allow just enough space for the femoral artery and vein. Your surgeon will close your skin.
How can I prepare myself for the operation?
If you smoke, stopping smoking now may reduce your risk of developing complications and will improve your long-term health.
Try to maintain a healthy weight. You have a higher risk of developing complications if you are overweight.
Regular exercise should help to prepare you for the operation, help you to recover and improve your long-term health. Do not do exercises that involve heavy lifting or make your hernia painful. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
If you have not had the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, you may be at an increased risk of serious illness related to COVID-19 while you recover. Speak to your doctor or healthcare team if you would like to have the vaccine.
What complications can happen?
Some complications can be serious and can even cause death.
General complications of any operation
- infection of the surgical site (wound)
- allergic reaction to the equipment, materials or medication
- blood clot in your leg
- blood clot in your lung
- chest infection
Specific complications of this operation
- developing a collection of blood (haematoma) or fluid (seroma) under your wound
- difficulty passing urine
- injury or narrowing of the femoral vein
- injury to structures that come from your abdomen and are within the hernia
- damage to nerves
Consequences of this procedure
- unsightly scarring of your skin
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.
Most people make a full recovery and can return to normal activities. However, 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.IMPORTANT INFORMATION
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Last reviewed: September 2022