Femoral hernia

These are relatively rare and account for approximately 3% of all hernias. They occur more commonly in women and rarely in children.

Signs & Symptoms

Femoral hernias present as a lump in the groin usually just below and to the side of the pubic bone.  They are usually irreducible.  Because of the tight margins of the defect through which the hernia passes these are at risk of strangulation and surgery is therefore almost always recommended.

Treatment Options

The natural history of these hernias is that they tend to increase in size over time and occasionally are at risk of strangulation.  Surgery is therefore usually recommended.

Surgery has been performed to repair groin hernias for nearly 150 years and many procedures have been described.  Today the options are between open and laparoscopic procedures and almost always employ the use of prosthetic mesh.

Open – several approaches have been described for open surgery, all involving a larger incision than keyhole operations.  Most commonly in the elective situation an incision is made over the lump and the defect repaired using either sutures or a prosthetic mesh plug in the femoral ring.


Complications of surgery are rare and in competent hands there is probably no difference between laparoscopic and open operations although there is some evidence that the incidence of chronic groin discomfort following laparoscopic repair is lower than following open procedures.



Recovery is usually rapid and many patients return home on the same day as their operation.  Studies suggest that pts resume all normal activities one to two weeks faster following laparoscopic operations.  Most people are back to normal within two weeks of surgery.

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