What size hernia needs surgery

What Size Hernia Needs Surgery?

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Hernias require surgery for complete recovery. The size of a hernia is usually an influencing factor in the decision to repair it. This is because small and painless hernias are hoped to be coped with through medications and other initiatives rather than surgery.

The bottom line, however, is that most hernias, whether small, medium, or large, eventually require surgery.

If you are considering hernia repair surgery, it is crucial to consult a hernia specialist. Their expertise and guidance will help you make an informed decision, whether it’s an elective or immediate surgery, based on the diagnosis of your hernia and their professional recommendation.

Hernia and the Need for a Surgery

Hernias, despite being an inguinal, femoral, umbilical, or hiatal hernia not heal their own mostly, its require surgery for a complete cure.

You may plan to carry on with seemingly small and painless hernias without the need for any surgery. However, certain complications like incarceration, obstruction, and strangulation challenge patient health and life despite the hernia being small and painless.

It’s important to note that hernias can become complicated and necessitate major surgery, regardless of their size. This is why it is advisable to consider surgery before the hernia reaches a critical stage.

The Different Sizes of Hernia and Their Severity

Hernias are typically classified into small, medium, and large hernias based on their size and severity of symptoms.

Hernia Length Hernia Size
Less than 2 cm
Small hernia
Between 2 cm and 5 cm
Medium hernia
Between 5 cm and 10 cm
Large hernia
Above 10 cm
Very large hernia

Hernias sizes however must not be your measuring scale for the need for hernia repair surgery as the sizes of hernia do not guarantee complication-free situations.

Opting for Elective Hernia Repair Surgery

Hernias below 5 cm are often attempted to be managed via lifestyle choices like dietary choices, exercises, and so on. In complicated cases, where surgery is impossible truss or hernia belt is recommended.

When the choice for hernia repair surgery is applicable, it is wiser to go with surgery before the hernia causes more harm.

If your hernia is not complicated and can wait for surgery, you can opt for elective hernia repair. However, if the hernia becomes complicated, surgical intervention will be required as soon as possible.

Types of Hernia Surgery

There are three types of hernia repair surgery.

  • Open hernia surgery
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Robotic surgery

Open hernia surgery is adopted for hernias in easily inaccessible areas of the body and for more complicated hernias. The recovery period is longer in the case of open surgeries.

Laparoscopic surgery is the most widely employed hernia repair technique and the best surgery for hernias worldwide. It is minimally invasive, with smaller and fewer incisions and a quicker recovery period.

Robotic surgery is a new minimally invasive technique that offers similar features to laparoscopy surgery. Many patients also opt for this technique for hernia repair.

How Painful is a Hernia Surgery?

Hernia surgery techniques have been made quicker and less pain-intensive nowadays.

Open hernia surgery can be more painful than laparoscopy or robotic surgical techniques as it includes larger incisions and more blood loss than other surgeries.

Hernia surgeries do not take a long time as well. So, it is not necessary to worry about unbearable pain. You will also be given painkillers after the surgery to cope with any post-surgical pain.

Normal Life After Hernia Surgery

After a hernia surgery, you can continue with your regular life. Hernia surgeries are typically more beneficial to your health.

With the advancements in surgical techniques like laparoscopy and robotic surgery, the recovery period after a hernia surgery has significantly improved. These procedures are minimally invasive, resulting in shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery, and minimal pain and blood loss, providing you with a sense of comfort and reassurance.

You can even avoid hospitalization in the case of minimally invasive surgical procedures. After a minimally invasive hernia surgery, you can take up your routine after a week or two of rest.

Repairing your hernia will make your living more comfortable than continuing without it.


Hernia repair is highly recommended for hernias of all sizes. Postponing hernia repair may result in the complication of the hernias.

If you are planning to manage your hernia without surgery, consult your hernia specialist and get proper advice on how to proceed without surgery.

Eat an appropriate diet that does not trouble your hernia region, and stay fit to manage the hernia well.

We wish you a speedy recovery!

To know more about the need for hernia repair based on size, consult a hernia specialist.


What size hernia is considered large?

Hernias above 5 cm are usually considered large. Large hernias require immediate surgical intervention.

Is a 2 cm hernia large?

A 2 cm hernia is usually considered small. Nonetheless, small-sized hernias also require proper medical attention.

Which type of hernia is serious and needs surgery?

All kinds of hernias are serious and require surgery. However, large-sized and easily prone to complication kind of hernias need immediate surgery.

Can a hernia repair itself without surgery?

A hernia cannot completely heal itself without surgery. You can attempt to manage a hernia without surgery but not heal it completely.

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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