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What’s the Difference Between a Femoral Hernia and an Inguinal Hernia?

What’s the Difference Between a Femoral Hernia and an Inguinal Hernia?
What’s the Difference Between a Femoral Hernia and an Inguinal Hernia?
There are several types of hernias, so it can be confusing for a layperson to know the difference. Hernias often all have the same cause: pressure pushes an internal organ (often the intestine) through a weak spot in the nearby musculature or wall. Due to their close proximity to each other, femoral hernias and inguinal hernias can be confused.

 What’s the Difference Between a Femoral Hernia and an Inguinal Hernia?What’s the Difference Between a Femoral Hernia and an Inguinal Hernia?

There are several types of hernias, so it can be confusing for a layperson to know the difference. Hernias often all have the same cause: pressure pushes an internal organ (often the intestine) through a weak spot in the nearby musculature or wall. Due to their close proximity to each other, femoral hernias and inguinal hernias can be confused.

What’s the Difference Between a Femoral Hernia and an Inguinal Hernia?

The main difference between a femoral hernia and an inguinal hernia is where the intestine is bulging from. Inguinal hernias are seen when the intestine slides through the opening of the inguinal canal. This canal is an natural opening that allows the spermatic cord and testicle to descend. In normal development, this canal should close tightly after the testicle descends, but sometimes a weak spot persists. Later in life, if stress is placed in that spot, part of the intestine can push through the weakened spot and create a bulge known as an inguinal hernia. Based on the physiology, inguinal hernias are more common among males.

Femoral hernias are found in the groin area also, but result from a different physical structure. Both the femoral artery and vein pass through the femoral canal, an opening between the abdominal floor and the upper leg. A natural weakness in that area can lead to the intestine bulging through. Femoral hernias are more common in women than men due to differences in bone structure in the pelvis.

It should be noted that femoral and inguinal hernias can occur in either sex, though the tend to be more common in one.

If you think you have a hernia, see your primary care physician. If your doctor feels the hernia is potentially dangerous, he or she may refer you for surgery. Dr. Shillingford, MD is a board certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery and can perform a surgical evaluation. Don’t hesitate, call for your surgical evaluation in his Boca Raton office today at (561) 483-8840.