Dr Deepak Varma Gastro Surgeon Cochin

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Femoral Hernia

A hernia can occur due to an inherent weakness of the abdominal wall muscles where the organs move out of its own cavity and protrude through the weakened area. A femoral hernia develops right below the inguinal ligament when contents of the abdomen slip through the femoral canal. Femoral hernias are relatively uncommon and more frequently affect adults. It mostly impacts women than men due to the slightly wider pelvis in females and a consequently larger femoral canal.

Female Hernia treatment in Kochi


Reducible femoral hernia: when a femoral hernia reduces back or can be pushed back spontaneously

Irreducible femoral hernia: when a hernia is stuck in the femoral canal

Obstructed femoral hernia: intestinal obstruction due to intertwining of the intestines with a hernia; this can cause pain

Strangulated femoral hernia: blood supply to a part of the bowel is blocked causing strangulation; gangrene usually follows necrosis of the intestine; this is a life-threatening condition requiring emergency medical treatment

Signs And Symptoms

  • Bulge or lump in the groin is noticed
  • Lump differs in size during the day depending on intraabdominal pressures applied
  • Hip pain due to the presence of a femoral hernia close to the hip
  • More severe symptoms as a result of strangulation:
  • Sudden groin pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe stomach pain

Causes And Risk Factors

  • Heavy lifting of loads
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Chronic constipation
  • Enlarged prostate makes urination difficult
  • Chronic coughing


Femoral hernia is diagnosed by clinical examination

In case a doubt arises in diagnosis, an ultrasound scan of the groin is done


Femoral hernias causing any discomfort, mainly moderate to large lumps require surgical repair. Femoral hernia is more prone to complications, especially strangulation, because of the narrow neck of a hernia. The operation is performed under general anaesthesia and can be either open or laparoscopic surgery depending on surgical recommendations.

In a strangulated hernia, the bowel survives between 8 to 12 hours during which medical attention is crucial. We treat, operates and counsels patients about femoral hernias and their management.

Authored by Dr. Deepak Varma, MBBS, MS (General Surgery)

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