Groin Hernia Repair for Women
Groin hernias are not a men only disease and are more common in women than people think.
Ten percent of all inguinal hernias are seen in women. Although there are some subtle and important anatomical differences between men and women groin hernias are best treated using the same surgical method.
Groin hernias in women can be 1 of 2 kinds: inguinal or femoral.
Of all the women’s groin hernia repairs, inguinal hernias are the more common. Inguinal hernias are repaired more than femoral hernias by a ratio of 8:1. Of all the femoral hernia repairs conducted there are more done on women than men. Women are also more likely to have both a femoral hernia and an inguinal hernia than men. We rarely see men that have both. Both men and women get both types of groin hernia, but in a differing incidence.
The natural weakness in the abdominal wall of the groin that makes inguinal hernias common is more apparent in men than in women hence the difference in incidence of this disease between genders. The spermatic cord that passes through the inguinal canal in men makes a larger deep ring than the round ligament that passes through the inguinal canal in women.
The pelvis is wider and flatter in women compared to men where it is taller and narrower. This difference is an advantage to women as it makes the birth canal shorter and so delivery of babies possible. However, it also makes the femoral canal wider and shorter so easier for abdominal contents to pass into making a femoral hernia.
How We Repair Inguinal and Femoral Hernias in Women
The approaches to repairing both inguinal and femoral hernias are the same in women as they are in men. They can be keyhole or open and done under general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic with sedation. Both the femoral canal and inguinal canal can be examined at the same operation to eliminate a hernia through both canals simultaneously and allow repair of the affected canal.
At Hernia Clinic Hampshire we examine both canals routinely in women and men. Experience has shown us that using mesh makes hernia repair more successful and recurrence less likely in women, just as it does in men.
The principals of the repair are the same in all genders. An experienced hernia surgeon will be able to perform a high-quality repair in either sex. At Hernia Clinic Hampshire we get many requests for repair from women with groin hernias and have a lot of experience repairing women’s hernias as well as men’s.