JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of a femoral hernia. A section of the large intestine (colon) has broken through muscles of the femur, and the superficial fascia (fibrous connective tissue on the surface of the muscle). This hernia is situated close to the femoral artery (red) and vein (blue), and lies above fatty tissue (yellow) near the inguinal region. A hernia is the protrusion of an organ through a weak area of muscle or other tissue that normally contains it. Most commonly the intestine protrudes through the abdominal wall, usually caused by a congenital weakness in the wall. As here, a hernia sometimes results from lifting heavy objects, weight gain or straining. Surgical treatment may be necessary.
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