Hernias can be complex. Learning more doesn’t have to be.

Throughout the pandemic, many surgical procedures and follow-up treatments have been delayed or canceled. COVID-19 related hospitalizations are a main reason for these delays. These hospitalizations have filled the available supply of hospital beds, leading to some hospitals temporarily delaying surgical cases.1,2 No matter the reason, it is important to keep your health a priority and to talk to a physician about your hernia repair options. Here are a few reasons why:


Potential for Easier Recovery

Hernias will almost always require surgery. If you delay surgery, you risk potential worsening of your symptoms and weakening of the muscles at the hernia site. These factors can lead to a potentially more difficult recovery process.3


Hernias Can Grow If Left Untreated

Although you may not notice any symptoms initially, hernias can grow over time. As a result, you may eventually experience increased pain and discomfort that may affect your day-to-day life. A larger hernia is harder to repair.4


Incarceration and Strangulation

When a hernia is unable to be pushed back in, it is incarcerated. If your intestine or other tissue becomes trapped, it can lose blood flow and become a medical emergency. This is called a strangulated or incarcerated hernia. Delaying your hernia repair can put you at greater risk of these complications.5  

If you display any of the following symptoms3,5 contact a medical professional immediately: 

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Gastric discomfort
  • Chest or abdominal pain


The guidance provided in this article follows general rules that should be discussed with your doctor. This article has been written and reviewed with the guidance of a medical health professional for informational and educational purposes only. It does not substitute for medical advice. If in doubt, always consult your doctor.



  1. Kelly, Susan https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/hospitals-clamp-down-elective-surgeries-covid-19-surges/611769/

  2. COVIDSurg Collaborative. Elective surgery cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic: global predictive modelling to inform surgical recovery plans. Br J Surg. 2020 Oct;107(11):1440-1449. doi: 10.1002/bjs.11746. Epub 2020 Jun 13. PMID: 32395848; PMCID: PMC7272903.

  3. Lewis, Sarah, Reasons Not to Delay Your Hernia Repair, Healthgrades. August 3, 2020. https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/hernia-surgery/reasons-not-to-delay-your-hernia-repair

  4. Donovan Stuart, MD https://www.trihealth.com/dailyhealthwire/miscellaneous/shouldihaveherniasurgerynoworcanitwait

  5. Sparks, Dana. Saving Lives with Gus: Incarcerated Hernia. November 22, 2016. The Mayo Clinic. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/saving-lives-with-gus-incarcerated-hernia/

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