Femoral HerniaSkip to the navigation
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 inguinal hernias.
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).footnote 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 lymph node, or a benign fatty tumor (lipoma).
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kenneth Bark, MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
Current as ofAugust 9, 2016
Current as of: August 9, 2016
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.