My experience is similar to many others--pregnancy...

My experience is similar to many others--pregnancy destroyed my stomach! I have 3 children ages 5, 3, and 1. They were all very large babies when they were born, the largest was 10 1/2 pounds. I was diagnosed with diastis recti after my second child and it just got worse after my last. I also have some stretch marks but those don't bother me as much as my bulging stomach that I try to hide by wearing my spanx every day and constantly sucking in my stomach. Just the other day I was asked if I was pregnant. That told me that I am for sure doing the right thing by getting a tummy tuck! I am thin and really don't have much fat on my body. I'm 5'8" and weigh 125 pounds, so I can't lose any more weight. I just need to get my stomach muscles fixed!

So I paid for everything yesterday. Nice to get that taken care of. I still need to pick up my prescriptions and get food made. My parents will be taking the kids for the week.

One thing I'm worried about is that I'm having the surgery done 3 hours from where I live so I hope I won't need to go back for any unexpected complications! I'm just really hoping for a smooth recovery. I know if things don't go so well right away my husband will be like, "I told you you shouldn't have done this." He doesn't think I need it, but he isn't the one living with my stomach! It's frustrating not having people support you and believe that you can make good choices for yourself!

Well 2 weeks from now it will all be done! Can't wait to get it over with!

10 days till surgery! I think I'm in denial...

10 days till surgery! I think I'm in denial more than anything that it's actually going to happen. I'm so hoping I have a fast and smooth recovery because I want to enjoy the rest of the summer with my kids!

I'm adding new pictures. I bought this shirt after I decided I was getting a tummy tuck--can't wait to wear it with my new tummy. It's definitely not something I could wear now and feel comfortable!

I had my pre-op appointment this morning and...

I had my pre-op appointment this morning and picked up my prescriptions! I can't believe this is really happening!!!

So my parents were planning on watching our kids...

So my parents were planning on watching our kids for a week after my surgery. But now they might not be able to. My sister had surgery last week and is having complications so she is still in the hospital and they don't know when she's getting out. My mom is with her down in Wichita (i'm in MN) so she isn't sure if she'll even be back by the time I have surgery. My main concern is that my sis gets better. But not having someone to help with my kids after my surgery is going to be really tough. I'm just trying to think positively that she will get better real soon!!!

6 more days and I'm feeling really nervous and...

6 more days and I'm feeling really nervous and anxious about the whole thing. My plan for my kids fell through so I had to ask my mother-in-law if she can watch them. I feel bad asking her because she lives very close to us so she watches them quite a bit already. But she said she can so that was nice. My parents will be able to take them a few days later.

Ok, things I'm nervous about: 1. not waking up or having something go really wrong with the surgery. I'm sure EVERYONE worries about this. I just can't wait till I wake up from surgery so I can think to myself, "I'm alive!!!"

2. having lots of complications afterwards. My doctor is 3 hours away so I dont want to have to be driving to see him more than the regularly scheduled check-ups! Also, I want to spend the summer having fun with my kids, not being sick.

3. not being able to lift my little boy (he's only 1). How soon do you guys think I'll be able to lift him in and out of the crib?

4. and my husband not helping me with things. He's not supportive of this at all. He will barely talk to me about any of it. I know I will probably be an emotional mess after this is over and I will not handle him being a jerk well at all!!! We'll see, maybe he'll surprise me. I think he's just nervous about it as well.

I decided not to take the Arnica Montana. We don't have a health food store around here so I couldn't find any. From what I've read there's no proof it really works anyway. For those of you who have used it, do you think it works or not? I have been forcing myself to drink more water (I'm not a water drinker at all!) and I've been eating lots of pineapple and lots of lean protein.

Our family has a big wedding this weekend so I'm sure time will fly, which is good!!!

Please send positive vibes this way! Thanks ladies, I love reading about all your experiences. They have helped me so much!

The wedding weekend is over and I'm sooo...

The wedding weekend is over and I'm sooo tired! I'm so happy I have tomorrow to get some cleaning done, grocery shop, and spend one last day with the kids before my husband and I take off tomorrow night. I'm starting to get the awful feeling of "what have I gotten myself into." My sister is having more complications with her surgery so my parents for sure won't be able to help out at all.

I'll probably update again tomorrow before we go and then on Wednesday after we get home with my new, flat tummy!!!

So for the past 2 days I've had a sore throat...

So for the past 2 days I've had a sore throat that is slowly getting worse. It is not something I would normally go into the doctor for, but is that a reason for my ps to reschedule my surgery? They didn't tell me what to do if I get sick. We'll see how I feel tomorrow and maybe I'll call. My husband is just getting over a really bad head cold that started with sore throat so I'm afraid I'm getting what he had.

Ok ladies, tomorrow at this time it will all be...

Ok ladies, tomorrow at this time it will all be over! My husband and I just dropped our kids off at his parents' house. I got the house cleaned today and bought some groceries. I still need to finish packing and then get some fruit cut up and washed for when i get home.

I called the doctor's office about my sore throat today and the receptionist said they call in a prescription for an antibiotic, but I turned it down cuz I really don't think it would do any good for a sore throat when I have no other symptoms.

Let's see...what else? I don't know what to wear tomorrow. I don't have anything besides a hoodie that zips and that will be way too hot and I don't want to wear like a dressy button down shirt. I guess I should have done a little shopping.

Please pray for me tomorrow!!! My surgery is at 11:30 central time. Thank you soooo much and I can't wait to let you know how everything goes!

I made it!!! One of the first thoughts I had was...

I made it!!! One of the first thoughts I had was "I'm still alive." I'm very grateful everything went smoothly. This morning we got checked in, he drew some lines on me, and then I went to sleep at 11:45 am. The surgery lasted one and half hours. I was in recovery for an hour and we left the hospital at 3:45. I was sooo sleepy and just a little nauseous. I didn't puke at the hospital but I thought I was going to when I started getting dressed. I just let out a few big burps and felt much better!! The drive to my cousin's was okay--about half an hour. Since then I've been resting, getting up and walking around, eating some, and watching a movie. So far to eat I've had 2 pieces of toast, some fruit, and some ice cream. Everything has tasted good! I cannot stand up straight--that is very annoying. I have to say the pain is a little better than what I expected. On a scale of 1-10 I'd probably give it a 3 or 4. not too bad. So far the whole experience has gone better than I thought. My husband has been taking wonderful care of me too! I think he was so nervous about the whole thing and now he's relieved it's over. So am I! Thanks everyone for thinking of me!

Day 1 post-op: I slept pretty well last night. The...

Day 1 post-op: I slept pretty well last night. The percoset knocked me out. I'm just taking ibuprofen now. I'm having a lot of gas pain and it's hard to get comfortable on the couch. But once I'm laying down and can relax the pain isn't too bad. I'm trying to walk as much as I can so I'm not so hunched over. I had my check-up this morning and she showed me how to clean my belly button and where my drain tube comes out. I saw my tummy and it looks really good!

2 day post-op: I took my first shower. I had my...

2 day post-op: I took my first shower. I had my husband in there with me holding my drain. I was nervous about taking the binder off and how the water would feel on my stomach. I also didn't want to wash my stomach because I didn't want to touch it. Ewww! It's so gross how numb it is. But anyway, everything went fine. I'm definitely moving around a lot better today than yesterday, still really tired. I had my hubby take some pics--he's not the best photographer but I'll put one up so you can at least get an idea!

Day 3 post-op: Feeling good today! I slept great...

Day 3 post-op: Feeling good today! I slept great last night on the couch. I only woke up once to take my pain medication. Then I slept in until 9:00. I am standing a bit straighter today and i'm not so sore when I move around. My biggest complaint is feeling dizzy from the pain pills so I'm going to be all done taking those now! I made some lunch for my husband and I. This afternoon I plan on updating my kids' baby books and getting them organized. One question for you all--when did you start driving after your tummy tucks?

Day 4 post-op: Pain is not bad today. I quit...

Day 4 post-op: Pain is not bad today. I quit taking my muscle relaxer and pain medication because it was making me dizzy. I'm just going to switch between ibuprofen and tylenol and see how that goes. I feel out of breath easily and it's hard to take deep breaths. I started rubbing lotion on my tummy and I hate it! It's so weird how numb it is. The worst part about today is that my whole family is going to the lake and I have to stay home alone :(

Day 5--I have been so happy with how my recovery...

Day 5--I have been so happy with how my recovery has been going, way better than I was expecting! I was gone all day long today--went to the lake--and it was great to be outside and around people again! Of course I took it easy, just sat in a lawn chair and laid down for a little bit in the camper, but still!!! I am now home and ready for bed and feeling pretty swollen. I'm hoping to sleep in tomorrow and hopefully tomorrow will be even better than today!

Day 6--I woke up feeling great but had a busy day...

Day 6--I woke up feeling great but had a busy day so now I'm feeling more swollen and tight. But still no pain so all's okay! I drove 3 hours today and also got some groceries at Walmart. I feel so happy about getting back to my normal life so soon! I've taken nothing for pain today and will finish my antibiotics tomorrow. At this point if you are someone thinking about getting a tt and are healthy, thin, and young and have a great doctor I would say go for it and don't worry! For me, it's been a lot easier than I thought and I spent so much time worrying for nothing. I will put up my one week photo tomorrow. I will be happy to answer any specific questions.

One week--just added photos

One week--just added photos

Day 10--Got my drain out yesterday. It felt really...

Day 10--Got my drain out yesterday. It felt really gross and hurt just a little but it only lasted like 2 seconds so it wasn't that big of a deal. I slept in a bed for the first time last night and slept pretty good. I still have a little swelling, but not too bad. I'm pretty much back to my normal life and very happy with things so far!

I am now 16 days post-op. I've felt the same for a...

I am now 16 days post-op. I've felt the same for a few days in a row. I compare it to being pregnant. I'm uncomfortable, have a hard time putting my socks on and shaving my legs, and my hips and knees hurt so bad when I'm laying in bed trying to sleep. I don't know why my hips and knees hurt so bad but my stomach doesn't??? I think I'll need to start taking some advil before bed and see if that helps. I also want to stretch SO BAD!!! Every morning when I wake up my body just wants to stretch but it hurts my stomach.

My biggest problem right now is that my husband is working a lot so I have to pick up my one year old and that makes me nervous. I don't want to ruin anything!

I am 3 weeks and 2 days post-op today. Things are...

I am 3 weeks and 2 days post-op today. Things are still going great with no complications so far. I slept all night long without waking up at all last night for the first time. Once in a while I'll go out without my binder on and it feels ok. The only complaint I have is that my skin is very sensitive to touch and even putting on lotion very lightly or my shirt rubbing on my stomach hurts.

It has been exactly one month! I still wear my...

It has been exactly one month! I still wear my binder most of the time but take it off when I'm going out in public. I tried sleeping without it a couple nights ago and felt really swollen when I woke up. For the most part I don't think I have much swelling, haven't had any complications really. I feel pretty much normal except when I have to bend over. It's been a great experience and am so happy I decided to go through with this.

Well, here I am--three months post-op already. I...

Well, here I am--three months post-op already. I am very happy with my results, but I'm not sure it's the $7,000 result I was hoping for! I'm holding out hope that it is just swelling so I'm going to give it a few more months. I know I look 100% better than before.

Things I'm happy about: I feel much more comfortable wearing clothes. I'm glad I don't have to suck in my stomach constantly. I had no complications. I haven't worn my binder since week seven and I feel completely back to normal.

Things I hope get better: I feel like my stomach still bulges out, especially later in the day. My scar is a little higher on one side. I still have lots of stretch marks below my belly button. Speaking of my belly button, it looks totally weird and unnatural. And I maybe should have had a little lipo on my love handles. But that's nothing a little exercise can't fix.

I'm trying to get back into an exercise routine so maybe that will help things get better!

The pictures I'm uploading were taken this morning and then tonight. I was hoping to be able to show the swelling I feel as the day goes on. Let me know what you think!

Overall, I'm very happy and would definitely do it all over again.

I am now about 5 months post-op and unfortunately...

I am now about 5 months post-op and unfortunately growing more and more unhappy. I do know I look better than before and am happy I had it done. It is just not the $7,000+ stomach that I was expecting. My stomach bulge keeps getting bigger--not smaller. It is not fat or skin, it is my muscles bulging out. I have not gained any weight and I am 5'8'' and weigh 125 pounds so I am not overweight at all. I feel like I need to suck in my stomach again and hide it with clothes. It sucks!!! Please look at my pics and tell me what you think. I'm not typically a complainer and I've tried to be patient and give it time in case it's "just swelling" like everyone says. Look at all my pics--aren't I getting to look more like I did before my tt, not better??

I made an appointment with my doctor for Dec. 3. I...

I made an appointment with my doctor for Dec. 3. I did email him some pictures and he called me back and said he did agree that my stomach doesn't look as flat as it should. He said he hopes that if I just start to work out on a regular basis and get those muscles strong that they will tighten up. I'll post again after my appointment. Thank you everyone for the kind words and support!

Thank you to those of you who have been thinking...

Thank you to those of you who have been thinking of me and wondering what's been going on! I did see my doctor a couple of weeks ago. He agreed that something is going on and that my stomach does not look as good as it should. He said it feels too soft and that my muscles have definitely relaxed. What he said, and I agree with him, is that since I am tall and thin, my muscles are going to be long and thin. This makes them stretch very easily. I know he did a good job with the original surgery, Everything looked great and felt tight. I also know he did do muscle repair and I can still feel that my muscles are together down the middle of my stomach. But since my muscles are thin and very weak because of large (10.5 pounds) babies, they will stretch, even after the surgery. He pulled my muscles together down the middle, which in turn pulls my obliques and makes them stretch. They have stretched because of being pulled so tight that now they are loose again! He wants me to try and tighten them up the good old fashioned way=exercise, for two months. If this does not help he said he will for sure fix me up. I'm just afraid that if he does have to do surgery again, I'll be good and tight for the first couple of months, but just because of how my body is, the muscles will just stretch and relax again. So I have been exercising my abs and running everyday. I think it might be getting a little better but it's still hard to tell at this point. I'll update again in 2 months with pictures. Thanks for all your concern!

2 1/2 years later

My surgery was 2 1/2 years ago. The time has gone by so quickly! I'm very happy I had the surgery and would recommend it to anyone. I didn't have any major complications and I thought the recovery was easier than I was expecting. After my tt my stomach did start bulging out again and I was thinking I was going to have to have another surgery to get it fixed. Fortunately I didn't have to do that. I think with exercise, especially running, my stomach tightened up and now I'm happy with how it looks. After I eat a lot, it still does bulge out some, but I'm not constantly thinking about it like I was before. My back has a very big arch in it so that alone kind of pushes out my stomach. I still have more stretch marks than I thought I would. I was hoping I'd be able to wear bikinis again, but I still can't. I do think my doctor stretched me as much as he could and got rid of as many of the stretch marks as he could, he just couldn't get rid of all of them. I also think my belly button looks funny, but again that doesn't matter since I don't wear bikinis! So no, it's not perfect and it hasn't come easily. I've had to work for it to be flat, but it is SO much better than it was before and clothes look so much better. I'm posting some pictures...sorry they are a little crooked and out of focus. They were taken by my 6 year old!

2.5 years later pictures

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon

Umm...not sure anymore. My stomach is starting to bulge out like it did before. I emailed him about it and have not had a response yet. (I live 3 hours away so I can't just go see him.)

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Thank you for sharing your journey I'm see it has helped so many of us I know it's has really just helped me hope and feel more assured that I will need to take it slow and hit the gym! I myself had 6 kids all big 9- 10 pound babies.... :)
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Such an inspiring review!! Green girl - pls do us a favor and let us know your workout routine when you have few mins. Some of us are going to gym and we run etc but would like to compare notes yo see what else can we add for an effective routine. Did you Pilates? Just FYI i run a lot.
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Hi, first, I want to say you look great and thanks so much for your great review. I had a TT done 6 weeks ago, at first it looked great, but starting week 4 1/2 my stomach started to bulge as bad as it was before. like you, I don't have a lot of excess weight, and I didn't gain anything. I waited to start any exercise so I don't cause any issues. I'm really worried. I've always had a bad bloating problem that is not related to food, but always bulging stomach :( any advice?
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You look great!! I am having the same issues at 6 months post and my ps is telling me the same thing, work out work out! So that I shall and I can only hope my results turn like yours did!
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You look great though. I have bloating issue now before surgery and afraid that'll stay with me. I think you could rock a bikini.
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You look awesome!! Wow!! Good job getting those muscles tightened up again. Your belly button looks great too. I am glad you are happy with your surgery! It is so nice when someone a few years down the road updates!! I also need to update soon...I am 2 & 1/2 years too.
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OMG THANK YOU for coming back. Long ago, before I even had my surgery I was so concerned for you and felt so sad that this had happened to you. I even asked a question on here about how often a bulge reappears. Well, maybe a jinked myself but I had a similar problem with my surgery, although I never went flat, I always had a bulge and while it was better than it was, I was still very upset about it. Honestly, I still can't wear a tank top b/c the bulge is too severe but your story gives me great hope. I decided awhile ago there was no way I was going through that surgery again with possibly the same outcome so over time I have just accepted it. But oh my gosh I can not believe how much better your stomach has gotten without another tt. I am going to step up the exercise! Do you do ab work? I have always been afraid to put any undo stress on my abs b/c of fear that the fixed muscles with stretch out even more. I also have an extremely arched back and I was very tiny before getting preggers so my stomach muscles were stretched and doc thinks they are just weak and that is that. I can not thank you enough for coming back. Even if my stomach doesn't get any flatter, I am so happy for you! And I do at least have some new hope!
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I am doing the same thing, exercising! My stomach also flattened out with some effort. Glad to hear you are doing so well. Between my odd looking bellybutton and leftover stretch marks, I won't be wearing bikinis in public either. But I'm liking my new stomach in my tankinis!
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I think you look great! Happy that you didn't have to get more surgery, seems like it was just a matter of a little excersice and letting time fully heal you. :)
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I just updated my review and added some pictures. Can't believe it's already been over 2 years! I hope everyone is happy with their results!
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I looked similar to you before my lift and tuck. I am soooo happy my Dr suggested putting my muscles back together. I have a huge scar but not many people see the scar and I'd rather have the scar than my stomach the way it was. You will need to decide what you want in the end but I LOVE my hard flat stomach now. It's been 2 1/2 years and the scar is more and more starting to fade but your skin is darker than mine and therefore the scar may be more prevalent with your skin. Good luck!
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Hoping you were able to get your stomach flat again. At 4 months post TT, I am seeing the same thing. (10+ lb babies for me too!)
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Thank you! My stomach is not perfectly flat, but for the most part I am happy with how it looks. When I look back at pictures from before my tummy tuck, I am so grateful! I still can't wear a bikini because I still have stretch mark scars under my belly button. My incision scar is thin and I really had no issues with recovery. So I would definitely do it again and I probably would go to the same doctor. Exercise really does help keep it flatter.
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Your transformation is impressive! It is good to hear you are happy. Guess I'll have to step up my ab workout! Thanks for responding.
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Hi. I'm curious how you've been. I have been following your story because our TTs were done around the same time and we had similar "before" pics. How are things?
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I'm doing great! I'm happy with my results...it does take some exercise but I'm ok with that. How about you?
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Just wanted you to know I still think about you and have said a prayer for you. Hoping your disappointment has been lessened by hopeful news or results from the gym. If nothing else, I think your PS owes you a partial refund for not using the correct technique for your case. Best wishes.
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I feel so bad for you! I have never heard of this happening so this to me is bizarre. If I were you I would get another opinion, and maybe another one after that. It seems like something went wrong somewhere and you have every right to know and have it made right. Please keep us posted on what you are told and what you do down the road.
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I did ask a question about your problem in the Q and A section. You may want to review the anwsers. I was actually thinking of you when I posted the question about a month ago. I am also scared of having good results only to see the pooch return.
Anyway, if you click on my profile you will see I have asked 2 questions and both received several answers. Thought you might want to see what some other PS think about a reappearing pooch. Best wishes to you. :)
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GreenGirl32, I am so sorry you are going through this! Thinking of you during this journey. Fellow MN girl!
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You need a second and third like yesterday. I agree with Jane, strength training the abs aren't going to fix this. Secondly, the longer you wait the more your new tight skin loosens up, again. YOu don't want a tt all over again, just mr. Thirdly, I also agree with newmomat37, ps use different techniques. GET ANOTHERS ADVICE. Your ps is probably a great ps, but he certainly doesn't want to admit that his technique may be to blame. I am not being pushy, we all just want you to be satsified. I had two different opinions and went back for a body lift. After I told my ps's of the other ps's opinions, he was able to admit that he needed to make some corrections. Not complete mr again, but lipo issues, scar revisions ect. I chose the full body lift the second time. I wasn't happy with the first procedure and either are you. Find another board cert ps for a consult.
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I think that sounds reasonable but I would still get a second opinion if I were you. I am sure this has been a tough journey...no one wants to have great results only to see them disappear. I am sure you want this PS to fix the problem if needed b/c you have already paid him but this is your body and it can't hurt to get another opinion or two from another PS. You can't be the only tall, thin person who gave birth to large babies so I would be interested in what another doc has to say. There are several ways to suture and if this guy goes in and does the same thing, you may loosen again. maybe another doc has a different technique that would prevent this is cases like yours? I do hope the exercise helps and no additional surgery will be needed. I would also post your situation here on this site under the Q and A section and get some opinions there as well. I do wish you the best of luck and you have had a great attitude about the whole thing. Do post more pics in a few months. Best wishes. :)
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Have you been back to doctor? What did he say?
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Please come back and update. Did you see the doc who did your tt in person yet? What did he say? I hope there is a solution for you because I agree with you..your tummy is buldging too much. I know it may be difficult for you to discuss if you are unhappy but you may help someone else. Best wishes. :)
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Hi, Greengirl32.

First of all, you DEFINITELY needed surgery. For anyone to say otherwise is dishonest and unsupportive. Secondly, you looked great right after the surgery. Your belly button is fine from what we can see in the pictures. But YES, now your repair isn't holding up. I don't think exercise will help at all. Are your muscles separated again? Will you please ask your doctor if he used interrupted sutures (as well as running)? How many plications did he perform - just the center, or more? It looks as if you may need mesh. There is a also a surgery called a component separation; I don't know if that would work. Please find out who does abdominal wall reconstruction in your area. If you are driving to the city, maybe you can see a few doctors in one day. It is worth the consultation fees if you're going to have surgery again. Please keep us posted on what you find out. I have a similar issue but no muscle separation. GOOD LUCK!!!
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