Is hernia a major surgery

Is hernia a major surgery?

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Hernia repair surgery is mandatory if you are looking for a complete cure or recovery from your hernia ailment. There are a few kinds of surgical approaches available to repair a hernia. Based on the type of surgical approach chosen for repairing your hernia, whether your surgery is major or minor could be determined.

In this article, you will get a glimpse of the available hernia repair surgeries and when a hernia surgery would become a major surgery.

Surgeries Available for Repairing a Hernia

Modern surgical techniques have made hernia repairs easier and faster with fewer post-surgical complications. Minimally invasive techniques are among the best available surgical techniques and are extensively used in the current surgical scenario. Laparoscopy and robotic surgeries use minimal and smaller incisions to repair any anatomical defect.

Traditional open surgery is also employed when complicated hernia conditions must be addressed. Open surgeries, however, use larger incisions and can lead to many post-surgery complications.

Minimally invasive surgical procedures, such as laparoscopy and robotic surgeries, are usually performed for minor hernia repairs and are considered minor surgeries.

Open surgeries can be called major surgeries as they are typically performed for complicated hernia situations.

When Do Hernias Require a Major Surgery?

A hernia situation will require a major surgical intervention when it gets complicated. Complicated hernia situations include when the hernia is large in size or when it gets obstructed, incarcerated, or strangulated.

A large hernia can get easily complicated and can inflict significant pain in the surrounding region and disrupt regular activities.

Complications such as bowel obstruction, incarceration, and strangulation of hernia can turn life-threatening and need to be addressed immediately. In such circumstances, open surgeries are employed, which are typical major surgical procedures.

When Can Hernias Be Repaired Using Minor Surgical Procedures?

Small and painless hernias can be repaired using minor surgical procedures. Laparoscopy and robotic minimally invasive surgical procedures are usually employed for minor hernia repairs.

When hernia surgery is elective, it is usually minor, as the hernia will be repaired before it becomes complicated. Elective hernia surgeries employ minimally invasive surgical procedures most of the time.

How Do I Know if My Hernia is Getting Complicated?

Hernias start small and painless. They turn complicated when they are not repaired immediately upon diagnosis. Look out for symptoms listed below, which can indicate the severity of the hernia:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Extreme pain in the hernia region
  • Constipation
  • Bloating

These symptoms indicate that your hernia is becoming complicated and would require major surgical intervention under urgent situations.

Also, look if your hernia cannot be pushed back to its original place, is larger than before, the hernia region is discolored, and so on. These symptoms are also indications of the hernia requiring major surgical intervention.

Recovery Period for Minor Hernia Surgeries

The recovery period for hernia repair depends on the surgical approach employed. In the case of minor surgeries like laparoscopy or robotic surgeries, the recovery period is generally shorter.

You can even go home on the day of your surgery, skipping any need for hospitalization. Also, if you have been administered local anesthesia during surgery, it will wear off within an hour or two.

You can resume your routine work within 2 to 3 weeks. You will also be prescribed painkillers for the time being to relieve any surgical pain. You can also take up driving once you stop taking the painkillers.

Recovery Period for Major Hernia Surgeries

The recovery period for major hernia surgeries is around 4 to 6 weeks. You can resume your work after that period. However, complete recovery from the hernia repair surgery will require around 3 to 6 months.

You would have to rest completely for the first few weeks after a major hernia surgery and follow an appropriate post-hernia repair diet and lifestyle for a speedy recovery.

You will also be asked to visit the hospital after hospitalization for checkups if any complications arise after the surgery. Painkillers will be prescribed to alleviate surgery pain.


Hernias require surgery at one point or the other, as there is no complete recovery from a hernia without a surgical intervention.

Small and painless hernias are repaired with minor surgeries and complicated hernias are repaired with major surgeries.

You can prevent a major hernia repair surgery by opting for elective surgery even before the hernia gets complicated.

Thus, repairing your hernia using major or minor surgery is in your hand. Take a better decision by opting for minor surgery when the hernia is small and painless itself.

To learn more about hernia repair surgeries and their complications, contact me at my clinic.


Is a hernia operation serious?

Modern hernia surgical techniques have a higher success rate and need not be worried about. A hernia surgery can be considered serious only when the hernia condition is complicated and life-threatening.

What size of hernia needs surgery?

Hernias of all sizes require surgery. Small hernias require minor surgeries, and large hernias require major surgical interventions.

What type of hernia requires a major surgery?

Incisional hernias, large-sized hernias, strangulated, and other complicated hernias require a major surgical intervention.

Dr. K. Amilthan MBBS., MS., FMAS., FALS.

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Dr. Amilthan
Dr. Amilthan

Dr. Amilthan is a renowned laparoscopic hernia surgeon based in Chennai, with over 20 years of experience in general surgery. He completed his MBBS and MS in General Surgery at Kilpauk Medical College and Government Royapettah Hospital in Chennai.

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