Hernia: When Do You Need Surgery?

R S Rengan
2 min readFeb 11, 2021

When a fatty tissue or an organ pushes through a weak place in the surrounding connective tissue or muscle wall, it results in a hernia and they tend to increase in size with time. Typically, without treatment, a hernia would not heal. In hernia surgery, the resulting bulge is pushed back inside the body to contain it. A hernia may not require immediate surgery, however, a surgeon may recommend an instant surgery under certain circumstances.


In certain cases, if the hernia is not too large, is not increasing in size, and is not causing any pain or problems to the patient, the surgery may not be an immediate requirement. However, in most scenarios, the hernia increases in size with time. It may not be resulting in pain now but it is very likely that hernia could lead to more serious complications eventually.

One of the serious complications is strangulation that occurs when the muscle wall squeezes the bulging tissue. Consequently, the blood supply is cut off and the tissue gradually dies.

Following are the symptoms that indicate strangulation:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Intensifying pain
  • The bulge turns red or purple in color.

Key Points to Bear in Mind About a Hernia

  • Hernias do not recover on their own and without surgery, they cannot be repaired.
  • If the hernia is small in size and the patient does not have any prevailing symptoms, or in some cases, if the symptoms do not bother at all, the patient and the surgeon can simply continue to observe the hernia from time to time for symptoms to occur.
  • Over time, as the muscle wall of the abdomen, gets weaker and more tissue bulges out, a hernia continues to expand in size.
  • Many surgeons suggest surgery as it averts a rare but acute problem of strangulation.
  • Consult with your surgeon before wearing a corset or truss to hold in your hernia. These devices are not endorsed for treating hernias and sometimes can cause way more harm than good.
  • It is possible for almost all children and adults to undergo hernia surgery. If the patient is seriously ill, he/she may choose not to have an operation. A dependable surgeon can help in weighing the benefits of the procedure against the ability to recover.

Dr. RS Rengan is one of the senior-most hernia surgeons in India and will help you with your doubts.



R S Rengan

Dr ( Major ) R S Rengan MS, DNB, DLS ( France ) HOME OF HEALING SURGICAL CENTRE. General, Laparoscopic and Gastrointestinal surgeon in Chennai, India.