A hernia is a serious medical condition wherein an organ or fatty tissue protrudes through a gap or a weak portion in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue. A femoral hernia is a rather uncommon type of hernia. It has been approximated that 1 in 20 groin hernias are femoral hernias; the remaining are inguinal. Femoral hernias manifest as a painful lump on the upper aspect of thigh.
Causes And Symptoms Of Femoral Hernia
By and large, there is no clear cause for the occurrence of a hernia. Some are present at birth, but may not be apparent until later life.
Some factors which contribute to the development of a hernia are:
- Chronic constipation and straining at stool.
- Lifting heavy weights.
- Chronic, persistent cough.
- Straining to urinate because of an enlarged prostate.
- Femoral hernias are commoner in females than in males.
Femoral hernia manifests as:
- A bulge / protrusion in the upper aspect of the thigh, below the groin.
- Most of the femoral hernias have no presenting features at all. You may have some degree of groin discomfort though.
- Some people complain of pain; which worsens when you stand, strain (at stool or while coughing) or lift heavy things.
- There may be associated pain in the abdomen, nausea, and vomiting.
Treatment Options For Femoral Hernia
In case you see any of the symptoms and clinical features that point towards a hernia, it is very vital that you confer with your health care provider at once. He will carry out a physical exam to understand the precise cause and will decide the suitable line of treatment.
If there is any doubt about the exam findings, he will ask you to do a CT scan or a sonogram to establish the cause. In case of a sudden excruciating pain in the groin, a segment of the bowel may have got stuck in the hernia. This is called an incarcerated hernia and needs prompt surgical intervention.
Hernias tend to get bigger as time passes. They do not fade away on their own. Medical / surgical intervention is necessary. Compared to the other types of hernias, femoral hernias commonly get incarcerated.
- Your surgeon will advocate femoral hernia repair surgery to manage the case. Hernia repair is a surgical procedure to correct the protrusion. Most doctors advice surgery to repair a hernia since it prevents strangulation, which occurs when a loop of intestine gets trapped in the hernial sac and the supply of blood gets cut off, killing the tissue. Strangulation calls for immediate surgery; however, it is rare in adults. Children need surgery to repair a hernia since there is an increased risk of strangulation and incarceration.
- In case you aren’t going in for surgery, make sure that you increase your fiber intake and drink plenty of liquids to ward off constipation.
- If obese or overweight, lose weight and maintain an optimal body mass index. Confer with your nutritionist and fitness instructor.
- Prognosis for femoral hernias is good. The chances of a femoral hernia recurring after a surgery are quite low.