top of page

Can hernias come back after surgery ?

There is always a risk of recurrence after surgery.

Causes of XXXXX:

What is a recurrent hernia?

When hernias come back at or near the site of a previous repair, they are called recurrent hernias. This can happen months or even years after an initial hernia repair surgery. If a hernia does return, your doctor will most likely recommend hernia revision surgery. If you think you have a recurrent hernia, it’s important that you seek medical attention from an experienced hernia specialist right away to discuss the best course of treatment.


What causes a hernia to come back?

Recurrent hernias can happen for a number of reasons, such as:


Infection: Patients who had an infection that prevented the fascia, or connective tissue, from healing properly may need another surgery.

Fascial weakness: If the initial hernia repair was performed in a weak area of the fascia, hernia revision surgery might be necessary.

Failed repair: A hernia may return if the initial repair didn’t work or doesn’t last. This is why many hernia repairs use surgical mesh. In fact, the chances for hernia recurrence are decreased by as much as 50% when using surgical mesh.

Lifestyle factors and activities: Certain lifestyle factors and activities may strain or weaken the area of the initial hernia repair and increase chances that the hernia will return. For example, being overweight, smoking, having diabetes, taking certain medications that compromise the immune system and heavy lifting or other strenuous activities are factors that may contribute to recurrent hernias.

What are the symptoms of a recurrent hernia?

Many of the signs and symptoms of a recurrent hernia are similar to those of an initial hernia. A recurrent hernia may bulge at or near the site of the initial hernia and cause pain that ranges from a dull ache to severe pain. Pain may be more noticeable when engaging in certain activities or exercises such as lifting heavy objects, or even actions as small as coughing or sneezing. Recurrent hernias may also cause bloating or constipation.


How is a recurrent hernia diagnosed?

Like an initial hernia diagnosis, a doctor will review your symptoms and make a diagnosis based on a physical exam. He or she will also review your medical and surgical history. Depending on the type of hernia suspected, your doctor may order additional diagnostic tests such as an ultrasound, CT scan or MRI.


Do recurrent hernias require surgery?

Unfortunately, a recurrent hernia cannot heal itself and will almost always require surgical treatment. If you suspect a hernia recurrence, your first plan of action should be to consult your doctor, even if your pain isn’t severe. If left untreated, recurrent hernias may cause serious complications, such as a bowel obstruction that may produce severe pain, nausea or constipation; or intestinal strangulation if the trapped section of the intestines does not get enough blood.


What non-surgical measures can I take to prevent recurrence?

There are some preventative measures that you can take to help reduce the chance of a hernia recurrence or other complications, including:


Maintain a healthy body weight

Eat a healthy diet

Don’t smoke

Use proper lifting and exercise techniques

Keep your abdominal wall strong and healthy by doing exercises to strengthen your core area

How do I choose the right surgeon for my hernia repair or revision?

Although there is always a risk that a hernia will return after it has been repaired, selecting an experienced hernia surgeon with a high level of technical skill will significantly reduce the risk of recurrence or other complications. NGMC’s hernia repair surgeons are experienced and highly skilled in open, laparoscopic and robotic hernia repair. Our surgeons also successfully treat patients who had initial hernia repair elsewhere but need revision surgery because their hernia has returned.


Nationally recognized by the Surgical Review Corporation as Center of Excellence for both Hernia Surgery and Robotic Surgery, our hernia repair and revision outcomes are higher than the national average, while our complication rates remain much lower.


Get Started Today

Our experienced surgeons have performed nearly 6,000 minimally invasive hernia repairs and more than 1,500 robotic hernia repairs using the da Vinci surgical system. Learn more about the Hernia Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center or call 770-282-8956 to speak to our care team about questions or to schedule an appointment.

Causes of XXXX

Common causes of hernias include: 

Muscle weakness after surgery 

Straining to urinate or have a bowel movement 

Chronic coughing from conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder 

Injury from lifting heavy objects or weights 

Strenuous exercise 

Being pregnant multiple times 

Congenital defect that occurs in the womb and present at birth 

Enlarged prostate 

Poor nutrition 

Risk Factors

While risk factors vary based on the type of hernia you have, the most common risk factors for developing a hernia include: 

Older age 

Family history of hernias 




Born prematurely with a low birth weight 

Chronic constipation 

Cystic fibrosis 

Chronic cough 

Tips to Help Prevent a Hernia

If you think you are at risk of having a hernia, there are a variety of things you can to do help prevent them: 

Eat a nutritious diet 

Stop smoking 

Lose weight (if you are overweight or obese) 

Seek treatment for a persistent cough 

Avoid straining when using the bathroom 

Talk to your doctor about other specific things you can do to prevent yourself from developing a hernia. 

Next Steps


If you think you have a hernia, schedule an appointment with one of our surgeons at the Hernia Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center. The Hernia Center is Georgia’s first accredited Hernia Surgery Center of Excellence and offers you access to the most advanced robotic and minimally invasive surgical techniques for hernia repair. 

bottom of page