How open femoral hernia surgery is carried out

This animation will show how a femoral hernia forms and how it's treated with open surgery.

A separate animation shows keyhole surgery. Click the navigation arrows below the animation

screen to play, pause, rewind or fast-forward the animation. This animation

contains sound. Here we show the small bowel, abdomen and

abdominal muscles. A femoral hernia is a lump that forms in the

groin at the top of the thigh. It occurs when part of the contents of the

abdomen, such as a bit of fat or part of the intestine

(bowel), pushes through a weakness in the abdominal

wall into the femoral canal. The femoral canal is a passage at the top

of the front of the thigh. It runs next to the blood vessels as they

pass down from the abdomen into the thigh. Here we show the femoral hernia forming.

The aim of a hernia repair operation is to push the abdominal contents back in place

and strengthen the weakness of the abdominal wall.

You will be given injections of local anaesthetic. These will completely block feeling in the

groin area and you will stay awake during the operation.

Alternatively a general anaesthetic may be used.

This means you will be asleep during the operation and feel no pain.

Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, a single cut (about 5 to 10cm long) will usually

be made in your groin. Here we show you where the cut will be made.

The contents of the hernia will be pushed back in place.

Your surgeon may stitch a synthetic mesh over the weak spot to strengthen

the abdominal wall. The cut will be closed with dissolvable stitches

and adhesive strips called Steristrips This is the end of the animation.

Click on the animation screen to watch it again.