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 Reference inguinal hernias Opens New Window.
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 (Reference strangulated hernia Opens New Window).Reference 1 Unlike inguinal hernias, a femoral hernia usually does not flatten when you lie down.
Because it can be hard to diagnose, a femoral hernia sometimes is mistaken for an inguinal hernia, a Reference lymph node Opens New Window, or a benign fatty tumor (lipoma).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 15, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery, Colon and Rectal