Yes. If left untreated a hernia can become larger and cause complications. You should seek advice from your GP who can refer you to a Consultant Surgeon such as myself. Unfortunately surgery is necessary to treat a hernia effectively.
There are many options when it comes to surgery on a hernia and this can depend on the size of the hernia, your tolerance to general anesthesia or health. A consultation with a specialist would help decide the best procedure.
If your a smoker it’s advised you stop as it puts you at greater risk of getting a chest infection which can slow down your recovery time.
Recovery periods vary depending on the type of hernia you have and procedure carried out. Quite often though, patients are treated as outpatients and are well enough to go home the same day. You will feel fragile for the first week or so and some patients have slight discomfort for a short while when walking. On average two weeks to recover is usually sufficient but can be more or less.