A femoral hernia occurs in the groin area when abdominal tissue (such
as a loop of intestine) bulges through a weakness in the abdominal wall and
moves into the upper part of the thigh. The hernia follows the path of the
femoral canal, a narrow passage that carries blood vessels to the leg.
Femoral hernias occur more frequently in women than in men, but they
are less common than
These hernias can be hard to diagnose because pain often is felt
generally in the groin, not in a particular spot. Also, a femoral hernia mass
may be too small for a doctor to feel during a physical exam. As a result, two
out of three femoral hernias are found only when a portion of intestine has
been trapped in the femoral canal and blood supply to the tissue has been cut
off (strangulated hernia).1 Unlike
inguinal hernias, a femoral hernia usually does not flatten when you lie
Because it can be hard to diagnose, a femoral hernia sometimes
is mistaken for an inguinal hernia, a
lymph node, or a benign fatty tumor (lipoma).
CitationsJeyarajah DR, Harford WV (2010). Abdominal hernias and gastric volvulus. In M Feldman et al., eds., Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 9th ed., vol. 1, pp. 379–395. Philadelphia: Saunders.
November 15, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery, Colon and Rectal
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