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Reappraisal of femoral hernia in children

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Background Femoral hernias are rare in children, accounting for fewer than 1 per cent of all paediatric groin hernias. Misdiagnosis is common and a source of complications. There is no consensus on the age and sex distribution or the optimum method of repair.

Methods A personal experience of four children with femoral hernia is reported together with an institutional review of a further ten hernias encountered during the past 11 years.

Results Peak incidence was between 5 and 10 years of age. Misdiagnosis was common, partly because of the variability in presenting symptoms and signs. In this series, boys were more commonly affected but a literature review indicated a similar sex incidence.

Conclusion A femoral hernia should be positively excluded if the operative findings at inguinal exploration are inconsistent with the preoperative signs and in any child with a suspected recurrent inguinal hernia. Excision of the sac and repair of the femoral canal is curative.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Paediatric Surgery, United Leeds Hospitals Trust and St James's University Hospital Trust, Leeds, UK

Publication date: January 1, 1997

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