Femoral hernia (inguinal hernia)

Pelvis | Urology | Femoral hernia (inguinal hernia) (Disease)


A hernia that pushes through the canal containing the femoral artery and vein in the front of the upper thigh. Hernias occur when part of the intestine or abdominal fatty tissue (omentum) pushes through a weak point or tear in the lower abdominal wall. The resulting bulge may be painful and get larger when the patient coughs, bends over, or lifts a heavy object. Severe hernias may cause a blockage of the intestines. If the hernia cannot be pushed back in place by the doctor it is called incarcerated. Some incarcerated hernias block the blood supply to the trapped intestines resulting in a life threatening condition called a strangulated hernia.

The most common symptom of a femoral hernia is the painful bulge or knot, formed by the intestine that is present under the skin near the thigh. Additional symptoms of a femoral hernia may include abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, constipation, groin swelling, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Males with a femoral hernia may have scrotal swelling.

Causes and Risk factors

A hernia is caused by the protrusion of a viscus (in the case of groin hernias, an intraabdominal organ) through a weakness in the containing wall. This weakness may be inherent, as in the case of inguinal, femoral and umbilical hernias. On the other hand, the weakness may be caused by surgical incision through the muscles of the abdominal/thoracic wall. Hernias occurring through these are called incisional hernias.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Therapy depends on the severity of the hernia. Treatment includes: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications/NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen), pain medications such as acetaminophen, girdle, and/or surgical repair. Surgical repair is needed emergently if the bowel is obstructed or only receiving limited blood supply (strangulated). ...

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