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In the case of a Femoral Hernia there is a space (the femoral canal) next to the main blood vessels in the groin through which the abdominal contents can protrude. This is usually fatty tissue (the omentum) but it can be bowel and rarely even the bladder can be found in a hernia. This is wider in women and so femoral hernias are more common in women.


The aim of the femoral hernia repair is to close this space formed and prevent the hernia.

During the operation a small mesh plug (this looks like a tiny, rolled up umbrella when it comes out of the box) is placed into the femoral canal and the opening of the canal is closed with a few permanent, strong stitches.

Small mesh plug

Post your femoral hernia surgery:

  • you will have a bruise. The scar is always numb, and this numbness sometimes goes down the inside of the thigh as well.
  • a nerve that runs over the muscles usually is moved during the operation. This will often cause the nerve to “shut down” for a while afterwards. This nerve sends a branch to the inside of the thigh and to the top of the scrotum (in men), so these areas sometimes feel numb, or occasionally over sensitive.
  • After the nerve recovers, you will get some odd tingling or shooting pains. These are normal and nothing to worry about.
  • The wound may also get swollen, and as the scar tissue forms it can become quite hard and nodular. This always settles down, but it can take a few months.
  • The scar itself will fade and go pale over period of several months.

Other possible complications includ:

  • difficulty with passing urine.
  • haematoma - a big blood clot under the skin. This is very rare. The treatment is a second operation to remove the blood clot.
  • An equally rare complication is that of testicular atrophy. This is more likely to occur if there have been multiple operations on the groin. It seems that somehow the blood supply the testicle is affected, perhaps by scar tissue, and the testicle shrinks.
  • Wound infection occurs in around 1% of people and is usually treated with antibiotics.
  • A very small number of people get persistent pain, often towards the middle end of the scar.
  • some potential complications that can be associated with any general anaesthetic, these include nausea and vomiting, sore throat and headache as well as blood clots in the legs and lungs.

Following surgery, it is helpful to do some exercises to help the muscles recover and to decrease the chances of getting another hernia (the risk of a “recurrent” hernia is less then 1%). If you need help with the rehabilitation, we can recommend physiotherapists and other consultants who specialize in sports and exercise medicine.

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