Had a girlfriend that had one large enough for her stomach to almost slip through.The doc repaired by scope and it reopened 6 months later.Required more invasive procedure to repair.Pretty rough on her. Make sure to use really good surgeon the first time.
A hiatal hernia is not at the belly button, that's an umbilical hernia. A hiatal hernia is when the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm. In most cases doctors try to leave them alone and only recommend surgery if they get pinched or gets worse. I've had a hiatal hernia for years, but it isn't bad enough for surgery (knock on wood). It causes discomfort and a little bit of pain, but otherwise I'm okay. Usual symptoms are a dull to sometimes sudden pain right where the valve is to the stomach, and I get inflammation there--not exactly heartburn. I take pantoprazole morning and evening before meals to help reduce acid. It's not as strong as omeprazole which usually goes overkill and makes the problem worse. When I get too much discomfort, I take a dose of Pepto Bismol, and that soothes out the inflammation.