Femoral hernia is a bulge or weakness in the muscles of the stomach in the groin region. There is a weak spot on either side where the arteries and veins run in a tunnel down to your legs, and in the case of a hernia some tissue from the inside of your abdomen will protrude along this canal to form a sac that bulges in the groin. It usually contains fatty tissue, but it could also contain part of your intestine.
During the operation a cut is made into the skin overlying the hernia. The bulge is pushed back, and the sac is cut off. The weak part is mended and strengthened, usually with stitches and mesh patch which is a synthetic material used to strengthen the defect. The cut in the skin is then closed.
- During the operation damage may occur to the blood vessels in the groin, but this is very rare.
- After the surgery, a sausage shaped lump is usually present under the wound and this may feel like the original hernia. Do not worry, this is normal.
- Bruising and swelling may be troublesome and there may be a persistent ooze of clear fluid, particularly if the hernia was large. The swelling may take 4 to 6 weeks to settle down.
- Infection is a rare problem and will be treated appropriately by the surgeon.
- Occasionally there are numb patches in the skin around the wound which usually get better after 2-3 months.
- The risk of a recurrence of the hernia is about 5%.
After your consultation:
- Obtain authorization from your medical aid and book your bed for your hospital admission
- Carefully read through pre-operative information provided
Day before surgery:
- Do not eat/drink after 22h00, the night before your surgery, unless otherwise specified by your surgeon or anaesthetist (you should be fasting for at least 6 hours before the procedure for solids but you are allowed to take clear liquids up to two hours before your procedure).
Day of surgery:
- Arrive for admission at indicated time on ‘Code & Consent’ sheet.
- Change into theatre attire, remove all valuable belongings.
Approximately 45 minutes to an hour, this depends on the size and complexity of the hernia.
Duration of hospital stay:
- 1-2 days (dependent on pain management, general state of patient and first bowel movement).
- Refrain from strenuous activities (incl. exercise) for at least 4 weeks post-operatively.
Back to work:
- Sick leave required post-operatively is approximately 7-14 days.
Some pain and discomfort post operatively may be expected following any operation, but the following measures are used to lessen the pain experienced:
- Warming devises in theatre as well as warm intravenous fluids.
- Intra-operative pain medication through the drip.
- Post-operative medication through the drip, please inform the nurses if you are in pain so that medication will be administered to you.
- As close to one week after discharge as possible. Please contact the rooms to schedule an appointment.