A recurrent hernia is one that occurs at the site of a previous hernia repair. It is a measure by which the efficacy of a hernia repair is judged. Specialized centers that perform hernia repairs exclusively often report that their recurrence rates are less than one percent. While that may be true, the follow-up of patients treated in these centers is often not as accurate as those treated at a local hospital. Why? Patients who go to these specialized centers often travel for some distance to get there. If they have a recurrence they are not likely to return.
Based on statistics, it is estimated that the true recurrence rate for hernias is closer to 5 percent and may be as high as 10 percent. A recurrent hernia is not necessarily the fault of the patient or the surgeon. Some recurrent hernias are completely different from the original one.
Reasons for recurrence include:
A generalized weakness in the tissues
Other illnesses the individual has, such as diabetes, that impair wound healing
An inadequate original hernia repair
Data suggests that it is not worth worrying about a recurrent hernia to the extent that a patient modify his/her lifestyle to avoid getting one