Femoral hernias occur when there is a weakness near the femoral artery in the upper thigh. Their presentation is highly variable. Sometimes a asymptomatic bulge is noted in the upper thigh or it can be very painful.
In some cases we are unable to feel a bulge at all. The problem with these hernia is that they occur in a area that is surrounded by rigid bone and ligaments so symptoms can occur quite abruptly.
They do seem to present more often in thin women but either sex may be affected. Small femoral hernias are often seen during laparoscopic repair of other types of inguinal hernias. These hernias are easily repaired with minimally invasive laparoscopic technique.