Surgeon Questions surgeon

What happens if a hernia is left untreated?

I am a 37 year old male. I want to know what happens if a hernia is left untreated?

9 Answers

The hernia most likely will get bigger in size and give more symptoms
We used to treat all hernias as urgent operations. But now we have found only 2 percent of hernias in 10 years will be emergency surgeries with bowel strangulation. Most patients will get surgery in 10 years due to pain. So, the earlier, the better as your health and ability to withstand surgery will diminish over time.
A hernia is a rupture of tissue causing an abnormal pertrusion of tissue. There are various areas in the body where a hernia can occur. The most common areas are the groin and the abdominal area. If the hernia is not repaired, complications can occur. The most serious complication is entrapment of tissue, requiring emergent intervention. Sometimes hernias can be observed if a patient is unable to tolerate a surgical procedure due to various medical problems. In the groin, a device called a truss can be used. If an abdominal hernia, an abdominal binder can be used. If at all possible, a groin and abdominal hernia should be repaired.
All hernias get larger with time and harder to repair. Eventually it can/will lead to a bowel obstruction or blockage which can be an emergency operation. Your surgeon can give you a better idea of when since they have seen your hernia and I have not. Many hernias can wait a while before repair but not all. Your surgeon is best to make that decision.
Most likely it will just get larger. They do not heal on their own. Worst case scenario, it becomes incarcerated and causes a bowel obstruction requiring emergency surgery.
It depends. If it is an inguinal hernia, it is known that it can become incarcerated. That means that the contents get stuck in it and it cannot go back in without medical help. Also, if left untreated, the hernia will always get bigger. Sometimes slowly, but always get larger.

Depends on the hernia. Groin hernias that are not bothersome, generally don’t need to get fixed, but if they stop you from doing activity, hurt, or are very large, then they probably should be fixed.
Hernias typically get larger and more uncomfortable over time. When hernias get large enough, the small intestine or colon can get trapped in the hernia, leading to an obstruction and requiring emergency surgery. Larger hernias are typically more difficult to fix, requiring a longer recovery period.
You can end up with dead gut or strangulated bowel, these are surgical emergencies.