The femoral hernia is the protrusion of an abdominal content or an intestine fragment through the femoral channel. Due to a formed pressure the hernia appears in the natural tube-shaped channel forming a grape size bulging.
Femoral hernias can show no actual symptoms and may cause severe complications if left untreated. The actual surgical maneuver is pushing the hernial content back into the abdomen and repair the problem causing the weakening of the abdominal wall. If the hernia consists out of an intestinal fragment, it must return to its proper place to avoid complications such as a bowel obstruction.
The femoral canal is a potential spot for a hernia formation as it lies next to the orifice where vessels and nerves pass from the abdomen into the inferior member. This weak spot can easily be filled with different abdominal contents in case of an increased abdominal pressure.
In the existence of a weakened abdominal spot, bowel fragments or covering tissues are more likely to protrude through the femoral canal. In cases of high pressure caused by coughing, sneezing or suddenly standing-up, the actual hernia appears.
Risk factors in femoral hernia development are obesity, smoking as it causes a chronic cough, carrying or pushing heavy objects and constipation.
Most cases of femoral hernias appear in old persons as the abdominal wall weakens in time. Also susceptive to developing a femoral hernia are women that have had one or more pregnancies, as has been proven that the pressure exercised during pregnancy tends to deteriorate the abdominal linings and tissues.
A femoral hernia is harder to observe and diagnose than an inguinal one. It creates a lump in the groin area the size of a grape-grain. It can be difficult to notice especially if the patient shows no clinical symptoms and signs.
At the beginning hernias are usually reducible; the hernial content can be pushed back into the abdomen by a finger pressure. As time passes, the hernial bag gets stuck inside the femoral channel and can not be reduced. This is when patients usually seek medical help; irreducible hernias create discomfort and continuous pain and may cause dangerous complications.
When a hernia becomes very painful and tender at touch, surgeons presume a strangled hernia and an emergency operation is required. It may lead to difficult damages as the blood supply is restricted inside the femoral canal and the contained fragments have no source of nutrients and oxygen.
Many persons avoid seeing a doctor when they observe typical hernial changes and symptoms as they fear surgery. Few of the patients know that wearing a truss, a support corset assembling a belt, might expose them at risk of developing a strangled hernia.