When tissue gets stuck in a hernia, this is known as an incarceration. An incarcerated hernia can become dangerous if strangulation occurs. This happens when the blood supply is cut off from the tissue or organ parts that are trapped inside the incarceration.
If a hernia is small and is not causing any notable symptoms, it may be left unrepaired. Your doctor may wish to monitor it to see if it gets larger or causes any issues. If an epigastric hernia frequently protrudes, it may be repaired for cosmetic reasons. Strangulated hernia is considered an emergency, because cell death becomes likely.