Can You Live With a Hernia?

Absolutely Yes!

If your hernia is not causing pain or discomfort – it is possible to live with your hernia.

One must remember that there is a risk of an emergency (incarceration or strangulation) from any hernia. A painless hernia typically (but not always) will start causing discomfort prior to an emergency.

Based on epidemiological data, approximately 20% of patients with a painless inguinal hernia will live many years prior to worsening symptoms or urgent need for surgery. The reason to fix the hernia is increasing discomfort, pain, or hernia enlargement (surgery will end these symptoms).

How do I decide to have hernia surgery?

Hernia surgery is recommended:
  • If you are having intermittent discomfort or pain.
  • If your hernia is enlarging.
  • If you recovered from a recent hernia related emergency or painful event in the area of the hernia.
  • If you are concerned enough about the risk of an emergency that you will be thinking about it too often. ( Will you obsess over your hernia on a daily basis ?)
Hernias don't go away on their own. Only surgery can repair a hernia.

NB - Many doctors recommend surgery because it prevents a rare but serious problem called incarceration strangulation. This occurs when a loop of intestine or a piece of fatty tissue is trapped inside the hernia. Strangulation is when the tightness of the hernia hole is strangulating the blood supply of the contents of the hernia (intestine or fat). This is an unusual but potentially fatal problem.

How long can you live with a hernia?

The absolute answer is that it is “unpredictable.”

Some can live with a hernia for their whole life while others will develop a hernia related emergency within months of the development of their hernia.

Is it OK to push a hernia back in?

Yes – this is a safe maneuver.

However, even with the hernia contents protruding, it is not always necessary to push a hernia back in (reduce the hernia).

What will make a hernia worse?

Often there is no reason why some hernias get worse.

Weight gain – especially gaining visceral fat – will increase the intra-abdominal pressure and make the hernia defect larger.

Heavy lifting may or may not make a hernia worse.
woman athlete holding her stomach - article discussing can you live with a hernia

What can happen if a hernia is not treated?

A hernia is a hole in the abdominal wall. The risk from a hernia is that the intestine inside the abdomen can be pushed out of the hole of the hernia.

Potentially the intestine pushing out of the hernia can be stuck in the hernia leading to intestinal obstruction.

With prolonged incarceration of a hernia, there is a risk of strangulation of the contents of the hernia. In this case there is a high risk of critical illness or even death.

Why Choose Center for Hernia Repair

At the Center for Hernia Repair, we specialize in a variety of hernia repair techniques and prioritize patient comfort and satisfaction.

Dr. Yunis relies on his 30 years of experience and expertise to offer his patients customized treatment plans that suit their needs.


Can you die from a hernia?
Although rare, a strangulated hernia can cause severe symptoms and even death. It is important to have your hernia evaluated.
How do you know if a hernia is serious?
Seek immediate attention if you notice your hernia is becoming significantly larger or more painful.
Can a hernia burst?
Hernias are holes in the muscular abdominal wall. The bulge of a hernia is internal viscera (fat or bowel) protruding through the opening of a hernia. The initial presentation of a hernia when the internal fat or bowel leaves the abdominal cavity (through the hernia hole) toward the overlying skin can be thought of as a “burst”.
Can you exercise with a hernia?
Yes, you can exercise if you have a hernia, but it is recommended that you skip those exercises that involve straining or pulling the area where your hernia is located. Before doing exercises with a hernia, please consult with your doctor.
Can I lift weights with a hernia?
Prior to doing any exercises with a hernia, it is important to consult with your doctor. Lifting weights can theoretically make the hernia larger but there is little evidence that this is truly the case.
Does sitting make a hernia worse?
Prolonged sitting or standing can exacerbate symptoms of a hernia, as can other activities like coughing, sneezing or straining during bowel movements. However, sitting does not make the actual hernia worse.
Is it okay not to fix a hernia?
It depends on the size, location, and type of hernia. If it's not causing pain or discomfort, it may be okay to wait and monitor. However, some hernias can become incarcerated, requiring emergency surgery. It is best to seek the opinion of a hernia specialist.
How long can you go without getting surgery for a hernia?
It depends on the hernia and symptoms, some hernias can be monitored for years, while others may require immediate surgery. The natural history of a hernia left untreated is unpredictable.
Can you live a normal life after hernia surgery?
Yes, in most cases, patients can return to normal activities after a few weeks of recovery. However, the extent of physical activity may be limited initially. After expert hernia repair, it is rare to suffer long term problems from the surgery.
Does hernia repair last a lifetime?
A properly performed repair with modern techniques will almost always last a lifetime.
Will my stomach shrink after hernia repair?
No, the repair will not cause the stomach to shrink. However, weight loss and maintaining a healthy diet can improve the overall appearance of the abdominal area.
What are the 4 abdominal hernias?
There are different hernias of various forms that can develop in the abdominal region and its surroundings. These include umbilical hernias epigastric hernias, incisional hernias, and other types.
Signs of femoral hernia?
Sometimes a painful lump in the inner upper region of the leg or groyne indicates the presence of a femoral hernia. As you lie down, the lump frequently vanishes or might be pushed back in. The lump could show up when you cough or strain. so hurry for your femoral hernia checkup
Is groin pain common?
a groin pain can be a sign of groin hernia but in other case it might be as a result of irritation inside the hip joint.
Can you live with umbilical hernial without surgery?
Living with an umbilical hernia without undergoing umbilical hernia surgery is possible if it doesn't cause pain or discomfort. However, it's important to understand that an umbilical hernia won't resolve on its own in adults and may worsen over time without treatment. On the other hand, in children, there's a chance that the hernia may disappear naturally as they grow. To determine the most suitable approach for your situation, it is advised to consult a healthcare professional.

Center for Hernia Repair

1435 South Osprey Avenue
Suite 201
Sarasota, Florida 34239
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