In general, hernias that are at risk for complications, that cause pain, or that limits once routine activities should be repaired. If they are not repaired, there is a risk that an emergency surgical procedure may be required at a later date.
Under certain circumstances the hernia may be watched and followed closely. These situations are unique to those individuals who are at high operative risks like those with severe heart or lung disease, or bleeding problems.
Serious complications from a hernia can result from the trapping of contents in the hernia - a process called incarceration. Trapped or incarcerated tissues may have their blood supply cut off, leading to strangulation resulting in gangrene or death of the content, usually small intestine. This warrants Emergency surgery.
Of course, even in the high risk person, if the symptoms become severe or if strangulation occurs, then an operation must be performed.
Experienced doctors can see and predict which hernia can possibly land in complications. It is best to consult an expert hernia surgeon for an advice regarding whether surgery is imminent.
The Department of Minimal Access Surgery at A.V. Hospital routinely performs Hernia Surgery by Laparoscopic (key-hole) approach. A.V. Hospital has been recognized as Center of Excellence in Hernia Surgery by Hernia Society of India.