Hernia Treatment Outcomes with Surgery

The outcome for most hernias is usually good with treatment. It is rare for an inguinal hernia to come back (1 to 3 percent chance, depending on the type of hernia and many other factors). Incisional hernias are more likely to return. When a hernia comes back after being repaired, this is called a recurrence.

Hernia Recurrence Rates

Recurrence rates after incisional hernia repair depend on a lot of different factors related to the patient (obesity is a risk factor), the size of the hernia defect (larger hernias more likely to recur), whether the hernia has already been repaired (recurrent hernias are more likely to recur when repaired again), and other factors (surgical technique, the nature of a patient’s tissue, etc.).

The recurrence rate for groin hernias is 1 to 3 percent, while it’s 5 to 10 percent for abdominal (ventral) hernias, and 10 to 15 percent for stoma hernias. For the most complex hernias, the recurrence rate is 10 to 20 percent, depending on the nature of the hernia and other factors.

Hospital Stays for Hernias

Hospital stays are rare for inguinal hernias. Some incisional hernias are small and can be repaired without needing to be admitted to the hospital after surgery.

For larger incisional repairs, the patient can expect to spend one to four days in the hospital with a return to work and normal activities within two weeks or more depending on the nature of the repair. For the most complex hernias, the hospital stay depends on the extent of the problem

Hernias Left Untreated

Without treatment, the prognosis depends on the hernia. Smaller hernias that aren’t symptomatic may not need to be treated, especially if the patient may not be a good surgical candidate.

 You may not be a candidate for surgery if you have severe and significant medical problems that make surgery extremely risky. Most hernias are likely to get bigger. A hernia that is initially without symptoms when discovered can become painful or uncomfortable over time.

For hernias managed without surgery, there is a small risk of a “hernia emergency” which may make unplanned surgical repairs a necessity.