Difference Between Femoral Hernia and Inguinal Hernia

Hernia Comparison

What Is Inguinal And Femoral Hernia?

Because there are several types of hernias, it can be difficult for a layperson to distinguish between them. The pressure pushes an internal organ (often the intestine) through a weak spot in the nearby musculature or wall, resulting in a hernia.

Although both a femoral and an inguinal hernia develop in the groin. An inguinal hernia is a bulge of the intestine into or through the inguinal canal. A femoral hernia is a bulge of the intestine through the femoral canal, which houses the femoral artery as it travels from the abdomen to the groin and upper thigh. Because of the narrowness of the femoral canal, femoral hernias have a higher risk of incarceration. Women are also more likely than men to develop femoral hernias.

Symptoms Of Inguinal And Femoral Hernia

An inguinal hernia is a hole in the abdomen near the groin. It happens when intestinal tissues protrude through a weak abdominal muscle. It remains located at the bottom of the stomach. When you cough or stand up, the protrusion along the groin area may grow in size.

Now, your muscles are strong enough to protect your organs and intestine. However, if there is a strain on your intra-abdominal tissues, they can sometimes return through the weak spot in the muscle. A femoral hernia occurs when a portion of the muscle passes back through the femoral canal. It looks like a groin or thigh bulge. A femoral artery, smaller veins, and nerves are all found in the femoral canal.

Symptoms Of Inguinal Hernia

The appearance of inguinal hernias is the most noticeable feature. They cause bulges along the pubic or groin area that appear to expand when you stand up or cough. This hernia can be painful or sensitive to the touch.

Other symptoms may include:

- Pain while coughing, exercising or bending over - Burning sensations - Sharp pain - A heavy or full sensation in the groin - Scrotum swelling in men

Symptoms Of Femoral Hernia

1. An upper thigh bulge near the groin 2. The majority of femoral hernias are asymptomatic. Standing, lifting heavy objects, or straining can aggravate groin pain. 3. Abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting in severe cases

Causes Of Femoral And Inguinal Hernia

A person might be born with a weak area of the femoral canal or weakening over time. There isn't a singular cause for either inguinal or femoral hernia, but you can look at the contributing factors.

Causes Of Inguinal Hernia

This type of hernia does not have a single cause. However, weak spots in the abdominal and groin muscles might play a significant role. Extra pressure on this part of the body can lead to a hernia. Some risk factors can raise your chances of developing this condition. These are some examples:

- Hereditary factors - Previous inguinal hernia - Being a man - Premature birth - Obesity or overweight - Pregnancy - Cystic fibrosis - Chronic cough - Chronic constipation

Causes Of Femoral Hernia

Most of the time, the exact cause of femoral and other hernias is unknown. You may be born with a weakened femoral canal area, or it may wane over time. Straining can contribute to muscle wall weakening. Overstraining can get caused by a variety of factors, including:

- Pregnancy - Chronic constipation - Extensive lifting - Obesity - Difficulty urinating due to an enlarged prostate - Chronic coughing

Treatment Of Inguinal And Femoral Hernia

If your hernia is minor and not bothering you, your doctor may advise you to wear a truss. It may help relieve symptoms, but consult your doctor before and ensure you wear the correct size. On the other hand, if the hernia is rather large and causing pain and discomfort, you may require surgery.

Open repair and laparoscopic repair are the two types of surgeries. The surgeon, in open surgery, makes an incision in the groin and pushes the protruding tissues back into the abdomen. The weak area is then sewn repeatedly, with a synthetic mesh reinforcing it. Recovery may take some time.

Treatment Of Inguinal Hernia

Inguinal hernias get treated primarily surgically. When performed by a skilled surgeon, it is a standard and highly successful procedure. Other options for treatment include

  1. Open inguinal herniorrhaphy - This procedure involves making a large incision over the abdomen near the groin.
  2. Laparoscopic inguinal herniorrhaphy - This procedure involves making several smaller abdominal incisions. To perform the surgery, the surgeon uses a long, thin tube with a lighted camera to see inside your body.

If you want to recover faster, laparoscopic herniorrhaphy may be a better option.

Treatment Of Femoral Hernia

Small and asymptomatic femoral hernias may not necessitate treatment. Your doctor may watch your condition to see if the symptoms worsen. Moderate to large femoral hernias necessitate surgical repair, especially if they are causing pain. General anaesthesia gets used for surgical hernia repair. Femoral hernia repair can be performed open or laparoscopically.

  1. A larger incision and an extended recovery period are required for an open procedure.
  2. Laparoscopic surgery employs three to four keyhole-sized incisions to reduce blood loss. It causes less pain and scarring than open surgery and requires less healing time. However, it is more expensive than open surgery.

Are Femoral And Inguinal Hernias The Same?

There remain many differences between femoral and inguinal hernias. Femoral hernias, a type of groin hernia, occur lower in the body than inguinal hernias. Femoral hernias form in the upper section of the thigh, just below the inguinal ligament, where abdominal contents pass through a naturally occurring weakness known as the femoral canal.

An inguinal hernia is a hole in the abdomen near the groin. It forms when fatty or intestinal tissues push through a weakness in the abdominal wall near the right or left of the inguinal canal. Each inguinal canal remains located at the bottom of the abdomen and exists in both men and women. The testes in men usually descend through their canal a few weeks before birth. Each inguinal canal in women serves as a passageway for the uterine round ligament.

What Type Of Doctor Treats Inguinal And Femoral Hernia?

Treatment for a hernia will begin with your primary care provider. If surgery to repair the hernia is required, you will get referred to a general surgeon. Hernia repairs are one of the most common operations performed by general surgeons.

If you suspect you have a hernia, seek medical attention right away. A neglected hernia can become larger and more painful, potentially leading to complications and emergency surgery. Early repair is more successful and safer, and results in better recovery and outcome.

Difference Between Femoral And Inguinal Hernia

The table below summarises the distinction between inguinal and femoral hernias.

Inguinal Hernia Femoral Hernia
More common in males More common in females
Located above the crease of the groin Located below the crease of the groin
Can reduce completely Cannot reduce completely
The neck of the sac is above and in the middle of the pubic tubercle The neck of the sac is below and lateral the pubic tubercle
Less common to be strangulated Has a higher risk of strangulation
May get treated without surgery Femoral hernia must be treated surgically
Cough impulse usually present Many do not have cough impulse
The sac mainly contains bowel The sac mainly contains omentum

How To Identify Inguinal And Femoral Hernia

An inguinal hernia is a type of hernia that occurs in the abdomen between the groin and the pubis. The bulge might expand when you put pressure on the stomach while coughing or sneezing. A femoral hernia occurs when a portion of your muscle attempts to return through the femoral canal, made up of veins, nerves, and arteries. Femorocele is another term for a femoral hernia. Here are a few distinctions that can help you determine the type of hernia you might be grappling with today.

  • Inguinal hernias are more common in men, whereas Femoral hernias are more common in women.
  • Strangulation of inguinal hernias is less common. Strangulation of femoral hernias is more common.
  • Femoral hernias should always get treated surgically, but inguinal hernias can also get treated non-surgically.
  • In inguinal hernias, the sac contains the bowel, whereas, in femoral hernias, the sac contains the omentum.

A three-finger test is performed when a hernia develops. The inguinal hernia test focuses on the middle or index finger, whereas the femoral hernia test only looks at the ring finger.

FAQs About Inguinal And Femoral Hernia

If you have a hernia or know of a loved one who does, it invites many questions for which you need answers. We here provide answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Q1. Is A Femoral Hernia Worse Than An Inguinal Hernia?

Complications are more likely with femoral hernias. Inguinal hernias rarely cause severe symptoms and can be effectively treated surgically. Femoral hernias, on the other hand, are more likely to cause complications because they can pinch a portion of the bowel.

Q2. Can You Exercise With A Femoral Hernia?

Avoid leg exercises that use the hip flexors or adductor muscles if you have an inguinal or femoral hernia. Both muscle groups get used for sprinting and nimble athletic movements. Many lower-body exercises in the weight room use both muscle groups, so keep those workouts light.

Q3. Can A Femoral Hernia Heal Itself?

Femoral hernias do not resolve themselves. In comparison to other types of hernias, femoral hernias are more likely to have the small intestine become stuck in the weak area. Your surgeon may advise you to have femoral hernia repair surgery. The surgery gets performed to avoid a medical emergency.

Q4. Can A Femoral Hernia Cause Bowel Problems?

Yes. Obstruction - where a portion of the bowel becomes locked in the femoral canal, causing nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain, as well as a painful lump in the groin - is one of the complications that can arise as a result of a femoral hernia.

Q5. What Can Be Mistaken For A Hernia?

While a hernia is the most common cause of abdominal lumps, you could find other possibilities. These possibilities include - a hematoma, lipoma, a gynaecological issue in women, or an undescended testicle in new-born boys. A lump may indicate a tumour in rare cases.

The Bottom Line

Hernia repair surgeries are typically painless during the procedure. If you have surgery to remove a hernia, you may experience pain in that area for a few days.

You should strictly adhere to the doctor's prescription if you want a quick recovery. You must never ignore a hernia because it can become a serious problem and cause pain. Remember that surgery is the most effective treatment option for any hernia. Contact our experts today to learn more about femoral and inguinal hernias!

Consult Experts At DPU Hospital For Comprehensive Treatment

Consult your primary care physician if you suspect you have a hernia. If you are unsure which doctor to contact, contact our experts at DPU Hospital. Our certified and experienced surgeons specialise in advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery and can conduct a surgical evaluation. Don't put off your surgical evaluation; call or schedule a consultation online today.