Many times hernias are small and do not become a major health threat. One of my aunts had a situation that was a lot more serious.
She lost about 60 pounds over the course of several months, and they couldn't figure out why she couldn't keep her food down.
I don't know all of the medical terminology, but somehow a hernia had become so big and was causing all kinds of problems for her.
She had to have surgery to correct this problem. They were hoping to do it by laparoscopy, but once the surgery started realized they would have to cut her open.
This greatly increased her recovery time, but at least they figured out what was wrong. She is now on the mend and able to keep her food down.