59 Year Old Male - Do I Need Surgery to Remove Diastasis Recti in Order to Lift Weights?

I am a 59 yr. old male with at least a 6 inch diastasis recti running vertically down my abs. I love lifting weights and exercising. Do I need to get this recti fixed before it could cause a hernia or become a hernina. One doctor told me that just repairing it would only be temporary until I sarted to work out again and I could tear it loose again. Another doctor said that is not true. You get it fixed and it will not tear loose when lifting weights. Who is right?

Doctor Answers (12)

Rectus muscle separation and weight lifting

+3

I agree with the other Doctors answers, however, you can test the integrity of your muscle wall by the following; lie on your back, bend your knees with feet on the floor, lift head and shoulders off the floor (do a sit up).  If you have a flat abdomen, the supporting fascial layer is intact.  If you have a large outward bulge, you should see a doctor regarding a possible hernia.  The muscle separation and extra loose skin are repaired at the same time a tummy tuck is done.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Diastasis recti and weight lifting

+2

A six inch diastasis recti is huge, and usually indicates the patient has had massive weight loss.  More often than not with a large diastasis recti such as that, there are ventral hernias or significant weakness of the abdominal wall that could theoretically limit strenuous exercise.

I would definitely consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to sort out what is going on and what the recommended exercises restrictions would be for you.

As always, a thorough history and physical examination possibly with a stress test are indicated before starting strenuous exercise at your age.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Repair of Diastasis Recti?

+1

Thank you for the question.

I do not think that repair of the diastasis recti  will necessarily prevent the occurrence of herniation. Therefore repair of the muscle separation is purely elective and may improve the contour of the abdomen.

After the repair/tummy  it will be necessary to abstain from heavy lifting for at least 6 weeks  after surgery.

Please make sure you are consulting with  experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 680 reviews

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Rectus plication and working out

+1

A great majority of my patients work out after I do their tummy tucks with muscle plication.  With a properly healed plication and tight closure, as would be done in your case, the muscles would not pull apart as long as you wait long enough for it to heal.

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Fixing a diastasis recti in men.

+1

One common component of abdominoplasty surgery is the suturing of the fashion overlying the abdominal muscles and the correction of the separation of these muscles known as a diastasis. In our practice, we have performed this surgery as well as the correction of the diastasis in both women and men. After the surgery, patients should be aware of the significant recovery process. We typically recommend that patients begin their return to activity slowly to not overextend themselves or damage this repair. We commonly recommend that our patients can return to the gym and lift weights approximately 8 weeks after surgery. However, your best bet is to only work with a plastic surgeon board-certified by the American Board of plastic surgery and who has a great deal of experience in abdominoplasty in both men and women. They will be able to evaluate your abdomen and determine exactly what combination of procedures will help you meet your aesthetic goals. If you have a very large diastasis or possibly a hernia in this location, they may recommend a hernia repair at the same time and this may need to be done with another specialist such as a general surgeon.

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

A rectus diastasis is not considered a medical necessary condition

+1

A rectus diastasis is not considered a medical necessary condition. That having been said, some consider it to contribute to lower back pain. When exercising you shoul consider muscle toning using a core strengtheining technique.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Diastasis and weight lifting

+1

Just because you have a diastasis does not mean that you can not work out. If you want the diastastis repaired and allow it to heal properly for 6-8 weeks, you should be okay to return to work outs.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Abdomenal muscle separation can be corrected

+1

Your enthusiasm for exercise is to be commended. Yes, correction of large diastasis recti is possible and successful with the use of the newer component separation techniques and/or the use of biological substrates such as Strattice. Seek the advice of a surgeon in your area who is familiar with abdomenal wall reconstruction, your diastasis can be corrected, but it is more involved than just a tummy tuck.
 

Randy Wong, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Diastasis and weight lifting

+1

I do not believe you are at any greater risk to developing a hernia. It may be more comfortable to wear an abdominal binder of some type but maybe not. It is more of a cosmetic concern at this point.

Timothy Fee, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

59 Year Old Male - Do I Need Surgery to Remove Diastasis Recti in Order to Lift Weights?

+1

Very interesting dilemma, if there really is a 6 inch diastasis than your chances of eventually having a ventral hernia are quite high. This is due to the laxity of the fascia between the recti muscles. Therefore repair is a recommendation I would presume you should consider. BUT, always a but, if you truly weight lift tha chance of a recurrence due to lifting is real. Even waiting 2 months to allow full healing can not guarantee your lifting would bot cause a hernia. If it was me, I would get the repair and refrain from heavy lifting. From MIAMI Dr. darryl j. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.