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Can You Die from Having Surgery on Your Diastasis Recti?

Hi Im going in for surgery on Tuesday. Im afraid my Dr. stated that I had hernia and when I went to see this general surgeon he said that I had diastasis recti and that he was gonna cut me up and down above my belly button, tuck it and put some mesh on it. I have been trying my best to get some answers and I havent found any and Im really scared. All I wanna know is if you can die from this surgery and what are the after effects?

Doctor Answers 7

Surgical fears

Let me assure you that your fear is normal. Fear typically comes from lack of education about the subject. I would advise you to consult with your board certified plastic surgeon regarding your questions and concerns. You may find it easier to reach your surgeon's nurse who should be able to answer your questions and put you at ease thus   eliminating fear. Best of luck!

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

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It is normal to be worried

It is normal to be worried before surgery.  In most cases, it is the first time you will be in an operating room and, with cosmetic surgery, you are not sick or in dire need of the surgery.  It is an elective process that you are choosing to do.  With a diastasis recti, you do not need to be cut "up and down" by the general surgeon.  Your plastic surgeon can repair your diastasis through an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) incision.  If your plastic surgeon is also trained in general surgery, then they can also repair any hernia, if present.  It is good that you are seeking as much information as possible before surgery.  However, try not to freak yourself out.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

A plastic surgeon can repair the diastasis with the tummy tuck

I'm surprised you are seeing a general surgeon.  Most experienced plastic surgeons can repair a diastasis recti (splaying of the rectus muscles) at the same time as the abdominoplasty.  General surgeons tend to leave scars on the abdomen.  Plastic surgeons are trained to hide the scar below your bikini line.  Usually mesh is not necessary unless you have a very unusual situation.  You may wish to get an opinion from another surgeon, preferably a plastic surgeon who can attend to the diastasis and also give you the best cosmetic result.  Yes, you can die from having surgery.  That's why you need to go to an experienced surgeon who is well-qualified and a facility that is licensed or accredited.  If you do that, your chances of dying from the surgery are remote.  I have attached a link for more information.  The more you know, the less anxious you will be.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Complications from abdomial wall plication



Although plastic surgery is safe, especialy when performed properly there are some real risks involved.  The most serious complication of a tummy tuck could be considered to be DVT which is deep vein thrombosis or bloot clots in the leg.  These can dislodge and travel up to the lungs (pulmonary embolism PE).  If these clots are big enough you can have serious cardiopulmunary complications including death.  To minimize the chance of this patients should be evaluate for clotting problems (clotting to easily as opposed to bleeding to long).  Certain medications such as birth control medications may increase the risk of DVT/PE.  My protocol for my patients is to evaluate their past medical history.  Keep them hydrated, used compression devices on their calfs in the operating room, use blood thinners such as Lovenox, and be efficient during the surgery procedure.  In the post-operative period it is important for the patient to maintain good hydration and to get up and walk the night following surgery.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta,

Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Fear of proposed hernia repair during an abdominoplasty

The procedure that you are planning to undergo is extremely common, not of a high risk and has been performed for years as standard procedure. With that said, there are always risks for any surgical procedure no matter how minor it is. The reality is that the threat that this procedure poses to your existence is extremely small.

You should contact your general surgeon (and even your plastic surgeon) prior to your surgery so that you can have your questions and concerns answered and your anxiety (which is very common and normal) hopefully reduced.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

All surgery has risks that should be discussed before surgery!

It is common to feel anxious before surgery if you still have unanswered questions. The best source of advice is always your surgeon and their team that is performing your surgery - not the internet and not your well intentioned friends.

All procedures have risks. Your proposed surgery is very common and likely to have no problems. However, your risks are unique to your situation. Each surgeon has their own approach to educating patients about the risks of surgery. In our office we approach this through more than one office visit, written and verbal discussions and selective access to information on patient edcuational areas of our website. Be an informed patient by asking the questions you need answers to,  before having surgery. Good luck!

Dr. Mosher

Mathew C. Mosher, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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.