Femoral hernia operation expert Berger
Your Specialized Center for Hernia Treatment

Femoral hernia
(Hernia femoralis)

Femoral hernia – why and what to do? How does femoral hernia surgery work? Why is surgery advisable? In our hernia center in Hamburg you will find answers – in the following a first overview on the topic of femoral hernia.

Important to know: A femoral hernia does not heal spontaneously. In addition, the risk of incarceration is greater than with, for example, an inguinal hernia. Therefore, we recommend seeking advise on femoral hernia surgery at an early stage.

Femoral hernia surgery: 3 reasons for the Hamburg Hernia Center

  • Cared for by experts: You will only meet hernia specialists at our locations throughout Hamburg.
  • Our experience – your safety: Our doctors look back on 30,000 hernia operations between them – a wealth of experience that is unique in the world.
  • Preliminary examinations – femoral hernia surgery – aftercare: In our practices and clinics in Hamburg, we are at your side throughout the entire treatment process.

Beforehand in a nutshell

What is a femoral hernia?
A femoral hernia refers to a hernia of the abdominal wall immediately below the so-called inguinal ligament, where the veins and arteries of the thigh enter the abdominal cavity.

How does a femoral hernia occur?
The femoral hernia occurs at a natural weak point of the abdominal wall and is favored by a weakness of the connective tissue and excessive pressure inside the abdomen.

How long does a femoral hernia surgery take?
It depends on the condition of the femoral hernia and the surgical procedure. As a rule, femoral hernia surgery is comparable to inguinal hernia surgery.

Femoral hernia - what is it?

A femoral hernia, refers to hernia gaps immediately below the so-called inguinal ligament. The femoral hernia occurs where the large blood vessels of the leg enter the abdominal cavity. Femoral hernias often cannot be forced back into the abdomen.

The hernia gaps are comparatively small here – one reason why the risk of incarceration is particularly high in the case of a femoral hernia. We therefore advise prompt surgery.

Femoral hernias affect women particularly often

Typical for a femoral hernia: This type of hernia is much more common among women. Thus, three times more female than male patients are affected by femoral hernias. In men, femoral hernias can occur especially after open inguinal hernia operations.

Femoral hernia: Causes

Like other abdominal wall hernias, a femoral hernia occurs at a weak point in the abdominal wall. This is naturally located in this case where the veins and arteries of the thigh enter the abdominal cavity.

If connective tissue weakness and excessive pressure inside the abdomen are added to this, the risk of a femoral hernia increases.

Femoral hernias are favored among other things by repeated pregnancies, overweight, coughing, pressing or heavy lifting. It is also a possible complication after inguinal hernia surgery.

Femoral hernia operation mesh Dag
In case of a femoral hernia, we recommend prompt surgery. The hernia is closed with a synthetic mesh.

Symptoms and consequences

A femoral hernia is mainly accompanied by pain, sometimes severe. These often radiate to the groin region. If the hernial sac is already incarcerated, pain is also felt in the abdomen or thigh area. A palpable protrusion is less common in a femoral hernia than in other types of hernia.

Thus, the hernia symptoms differ from those of other types of hernias. Therefore, especially in the case of femoral hernias, dynamic ultrasound examination is particularly important for a reliable diagnosis.

Risk: Incarcerated femoral hernia

Because of the comparatively small hernia gap, the risk of incarceration is greater in femoral hernias than in other abdominal wall hernias. Often, the femoral hernia is already incarcerated at the time of diagnosis. The organs located in the hernial sac, such as loops of small intestine, cannot be forced back into the abdominal cavity even by the physician.

With incarcerated femoral hernias, there is usually severe abdominal pain. These are based on the one hand on the fact that the trapped intestine is no longer passable. On the other hand, the blood supply to the intestine is impaired, which can lead to the death of the intestinal segment trapped in the hernial sac within a few hours.

Therefore, an incarcerated femoral hernia is always an emergency and surgery is required immediately.

Detect femoral hernia: Diagnostics

Physical examination

Before the treatment of your femoral hernia, an exact diagnosis is made by the specialist. We offer our consultation at various locations in Hamburg. During the preliminary consultation, we discuss the duration and nature of your complaints as well as any previous illnesses.

This is followed by palpation to get an idea of the extent of the herniation.

General examinations

In close cooperation and coordination with your family doctor, the necessary, general preliminary examinations such as ECG and laboratory tests (blood sampling) are performed.

Dynamic ultrasound

Unlike other types of hernia, the typical protrusion is less common in femoral hernia. Palpation is often difficult, especially in overweight patients.

Dynamic ultrasound therefore plays a special role in the examination of femoral hernias. This is an innovative method from Hamburg – significantly co-developed by Prof. Henning Niebuhr. Dynamic ultrasound examination enables particularly precise localization and determination of the size and condition of the femoral hernia. Further, more complex and expensive, imaging procedures are usually not required for femoral hernias.

Femoral hernia operation expert Reinpold Niebuhr
Femoral hernia surgery: At the Hamburg Hernia Center, we prefer gentle endoscopic procedures to open surgery.

Femoral hernia surgery

As is true for all types of hernia, spontaneous healing is not possible in the case of a femoral hernias. The only promising option for treatment is a surgery.

Especially due to the higher risk of entrapment, we advise you to quickly consider a femoral hernia surgery.

We have various surgical methods available at the Hamburg Hernia Center. Whenever possible, we prefer gentle minimally invasive procedures to open surgery. We will discuss which surgery is right for you together in our consultation hours.

The surgical methods for femoral hernias are the same as for inguinal hernias. So for details, feel free to refer to our comprehensive information about inguinal hernia surgery.

Femoral hernia surgery: what happens next?

A femoral hernia can usually be treated well. Soon after the procedure, you will be fully back on your feet.

Everyday activities such as dressing and undressing, personal hygiene and walking are immediately possible. At the latest after the wound has healed (approx. 7 to 10 days), normal physical activities can be resumed, including housework, light gardening, swimming, jogging, cycling and lifting up to 20 KG.

Heavy physical work can be started 3 to 6 weeks after the femoral hernia surgery, depending on the surgical procedure.