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Femoral Hernia - Introduction

Hernia may be defined as protrusion of the organs from the abdominal cavity through weak spots in the abdominal wall. Femoral hernia develops below the inguinal ligament. It contains abdominal organs, usually intestine, which protrude through the posterior wall of the femoral canal. Femoral hernia is located on the upper inner thigh, near the groin. Femoral hernia may be sometimes hard to be differentiated from inguinal hernia. Still, femoral hernia is more rounded and comparing to inguinal hernia there is obvious prevalence of this type of hernia in women. This type of hernia carries significant risk of strangulation, which is only one possible complication of femoral hernia.

Causes of Femoral Hernia

The femoral canal contains large blood vessels which supply the legs with oxygen and all the necessary nutrients. In case of femoral hernia increased pressure inside the abdomen leads to protrusion of the intestine through the femoral canal. Normally abdominal muscles are strong enough to resist increased pressure inside the abdominal cavity. In some people abdominal muscles seem to be weak and protrusion occurs due to coughing and increased strain which may occur due to constipation or lifting of heavy objects.

Symptoms of Femoral Hernia

The symptoms of femoral hernia are similar in men and women. Still, as it has already been mentioned women suffer from femoral hernia more comparing to men.

Femoral hernia typically features with a lump near the groin area on the upper inner thigh. The lump may vary in size and it may increase in time. If one is suffering from reducible femoral hernia, the content of the hernia may be manually manipulated back into the abdominal cavity. On the other side, an irreducible hernia cannot be corrected with external manipulation.

One more symptom of femoral hernia is pain. The pain is located in the groin area and originates from distension of the hole in the abdominal wall. This damage to the abdominal muscles is the source of pain. The pain in femoral hernia may be localized or affect the whole abdomen. It also varies in characteristics and may be dull, sharp or even throbbing.

People suffering from femoral hernia may also feel nausea and vomit. This particularly occurs, if the intestine gets caught in the hernia. Incarceration of femoral hernia causes back flow of the food and fluids and this eventually results in vomiting. This is an urgent medical condition and requires prompt treatment.

In case that the intestine is trapped in hernia the patient may complain about constipation.

Apart from the previously mentioned symptoms patient suffering from femoral hernia may also experience urinary problems (urinary hesitancy, urinary frequency etc.) and inflammation of the skin around the hernia. Women may have to deal with painful intercourse while femoral hernia in men may cause impotence.

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