Left unrepaired, the incidience of complications, such as incarceration (bowel
getting stuck in the hernia), is highest in the youngest age groups. Anesthesia
these days is very safe, even in young babies. The younger the child or baby, the more you want to have a surgeon especially skilled in his or her hernia repair
, such as a pediatric surgeon.
If the question is about umbilical herniae, the answer is different. Umbilical herniae are the only herniae of the abdominal wall that tend to close spontaneously, usually in the first few years of life. In addition, the incidence of complications with umbilical herniae is quite low in kids but increases significantly in adults with a persistent umbilical hernia
. I therefore watch them in babies & young toddlers. If they persist to near school-age, say 4 to 5 years of age, they are probably not going to fix themselves at that point, & i recommend repair.