A surgical procedure to rectify or reposition a femoral hernia that has occurred in the groin area, this surgery is performed conventionally or by laparoscopy. Femoral hernia is a rare occurrence and is observed in males and females.
The abdomen of the human body, the lower chest and the upper portion of thighs and groin is surrounded and bounded by peritoneum, which is a muscular membrane. This muscular membrane basically holds together or keep all the organs of the digestive system and abdomen in place. In short, the presence of the membrane is of importance as it acts as a protective agent for the organs.
In case of exertion or failure of peritoneum, the organs tend to get displaced and from a bulge or sac by pushing against the membrane. The protrusion can sometimes be felt even through the external skin. The protrusion is unnatural and unhealthy, and there are complications which tend to cause the internal organs harm.
In extreme cases of hernia, protrusion against the peritoneum was observed have caused tear in it. Well, this a serious condition as it can led to the entanglement of internal organs with the membrane. This obviously causes pain and discomfort and in serious cases, several ailments such as vomiting, in relation to the digestive system are observed. In some cases though, the protrusion of the hernia is so minor that it goes unnoticed and it also does not result into any kind of symptom. Hernia in female as well as male are classified in accordance with the location where they are caused.
About the Femoral Hernia
The Femoral hernia, is usually caused at the bottom most section of the peritoneum, which is in areas where the limbs are joined to the torso and the groin.
A femoral hernia occurs in the lowest part of the torso and abdomen, just before the legs start. In case if you are suffering from the femoral hernia you should be feeling certain discomfort in the upper most parts of the thighs and the lower end of the torso, near the groin.
Causes of common femoral hernia include, extreme physical strain, chronic cough and cold, constipation, extreme obesity, enlarged prostate and lifting of extremely heavy objects. In some cases such a hernia can also be present right since birth.
Symptoms of this ailment include, discomfort, nausea, pain and in later and extreme stages, nausea and vomiting.
In some cases, organs and tissues within the abdomen get stuck in the hernia and become incarcerated and gangrenous in some cases.
Now then let’s take a look at the diagnosis, surgery and recovery stages. Also note, there is ‘no’ alternative to a surgery.
Diagnosis, Surgery and Recovery
Now this condition is diagnosed by the doctor in three ways and in most cases, to analyze and observe the situation more closely and accurately, most of the doctors and surgeons tend to conduct the following procedures one after the another.
Physical examination of the affected area and a series of questions usually give the doctor an excellent idea as to what exactly has happened in your abdomen and how severe is your hernia. In some cases doctors may also prescribe some common blood tests and urinalysis as a pre-emptive study of your case, especially of your general health and the abdomen.
Nowadays, due to presence of faster and sophisticated means of surgery such as laparoscopy, doctors and surgeons make it a point to get a visual and proportional idea of the hernia and hence, an ultrasound is also prescribed (by default).
As mentioned above, the hernia can progress into complicated situations and in cases, where complications have developed a surgeon may also prescribe a CT scan.
Though a physical examination is quite enough in most of the cases, the ultrasound or CT scan are done as they help the surgeon in the actual surgery and also give him/her of a better idea of the condition of the hernia. Now the actual surgery, at least in theory, is simple and pretty much straight forward.
Here are two methods with help of which it is done. Now take into note that hernia can be a progressive condition if not attended to. Usually it starts with a protrusion, which irritates the muscular membranes, later it is still ignored it progresses into the formation of a bulge which progresses into a sac. This sac is very dangerous owing to the fact that it can lead to a gangrene and entanglement of internal organs and the membrane.
Open surgery is the older form of operating a hernia and is usually used (in today’s times) where the extent of the hernia is severe. The open surgery starts with a cut which is taken above the hernia on the outermost layer of skin. Then the surgeon untangles the hernia and pushes and rearranges the protrusion into the abdomen. Next the membrane is cleaned up and any damage caused as a result of the hernia is stitched up.
In some cases, where extensive damage is observed, a mesh is also stitched onto the damaged part, to keep the organs from getting entangled into the membrane once again. Essentially the mesh also strengthens the damaged part for the membrane. The place where the entanglement can take place is known as the femoral ring. Now depending upon the extent and method of the surgery, three approaches which can be used are: Lockwood’s infra-inguinal approach, Lotheissen’s trans-inguinal approach, McEvedy’s high approach.
- The Lockwood’s infra-inguinal approach is used for elective correction.
- The Lotheissen’s trans-inguinal approach on the other hand is used for surgery through or around the inguinal canal, where the canal is actually cut open. This canal lies in the lower parts of the abdomen.
- The McEvedy approach is a quick or emergency approach which is used when strangulation of abdominal organs is observed or suspected.
Laparoscopic surgery which is also known as a ‘keyhole’ surgery is a modern method where laparoscopic equipment such as sophisticated, small instruments and cameras are used. In such a case, the surgeon make very small, 3-4 incisions in the abdomen and operate with the help of the camera. The surgery is certainly that simple, but it helps in a very speedy recovery, owing to the fact that the number of ‘cuts” taken are small and the healing process is a bit faster.
The recovery process of the femoral hernia surgery differs from person to person and case to case. Conventionally, after the surgery for a couple of days, the patient is put on liquid diet, which may continue even up to an entire month. Coming back to your routine may require anything from a month to 3 months, again depending upon your situation. Conventionally doctors and surgeons advise patients to take detailed care for an entire year or so. The hernia surgery cost is never specific or fixed and it usually depends upon the extent and damage of the hernia and the method which is used to cure the same.
On the whole, a femoral hernia repair can cost you anything from $2,000 to $10,000. On the other hand there are some package costs which amount to up to, $7,000. On an average, the comprehensive cost amounts to about $14,000 to $15,000, which includes some costs such as after surgery visits and pre-surgery tests. In surgeries where a mesh is used, the cost rises and may also go up to $20,000.
Walking and running after the surgery can be frightful and to some extent even uncomfortable, owing to the complicated position of the hernia. Your doctor and surgeon will however, guide you in a proper manner.