The breakdown of a hernia repair is called recurrent hernia. The bulge returns at or near the site of the prior hernia. Recurrent hernias greatly increase the complexity of subsequent repair. If left untreated, severe  complications can result such as the intestines being trapped known as an incarcerated hernia, digestive obstruction, or a loss of blood supply to the intestines known as a strangulated hernia.

The Center for Hernia Repair & Abdominal Wall Reconstruction is a high volume, tertiary care center that provides state-of-the-art  treatment  recurrent and failed hernia repairs.Patient outcomes for complex hernia repairs far surpass the national average. For example, patients with complex ventral hernias treated at UCSF have a recurrence rate of approximately 18 percent, compared to a 30 to 40 percent recurrence rate nationally. 


  • Bulge at site of previous repair
  • Pain
  • Nausea and vomiting if portions of the intestine are pulled inside the recurrent hernia sac 


  • Wound infection
  • Improper healing
  • Inadequate repair during the initial procedure.


Highly complex abdominal surgery is often required to repair recurrent hernias. Success rates are generally lower for each re-operation. Therefore, it is important to have the procedure done at a center where hernia surgeons have extensive experience with these technically challenging procedures.

For More Information

Inguinal and Femoral Hernia Repair (American College of Surgeons)