Board Certified/highly regarded surgeon didn't complete diastasis repair to sternum. Do I need a revision to complete it?

I'm petite (5'4", 110#), strong & athletic. Had complete diastasis recti occur in 1st of 3 pregnancies. With daily lower back pain, I sought a PS to repair the diastasis for his expertise in this procedure. I was cosmetically happy/functionally compromised and seeking functional benefit/reduced pain. Had a "full" TT to access all muscles but repair only completed to below ribs. Muscles now flare above repair and I have chronic pain at end of repair. Is redo needed to achieve desired strength?

Doctor Answers 3

Surgeon didn't complete diastasis repair to sternum. Do I need a revision to complete it?

This is an unusual occurrence.  I would find it extremely odd if your Plastic Surgeon stopped the rectus plication just above the belly button and did not plicate all the way up to the sternum, especially if he/she was performing a full tummy tuck.

You should visit your surgeon and discuss what the original surgical plan was.  Read the consent form you signed and see that it says abdominoplasty and not "mini abdominoplasty".  It is difficult for me to comment further without any photos and without examining you in person. 

Also, you must be certain that the surgeon indeed stopped short of the sternum.  Did your surgeon tell you this?  I would ask for a copy of the operative note in order to see what your surgeon dictated after the surgery.

If needed, you can always seek the opinion of another Plastic Surgeon.  I hope this helps!

Muscle repair with tummy tuck

There are several possible explanations for your situation but without knowing the details of the surgery and examining you personally, online advice will be of limited usefulness. One possibility for example is that if there is a bit of separation where the rectus muscles attach to the rib cage, it would not be possible to pull them together all the way up to the sternum. The type of pain you are describing sounds unusual and your own plastic surgeon is in the best position to evaluate.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Do I need a revision to complete it?

Without photos- or the benefit or examining you - it is difficult to evaluate accurately. You have to discuss it with your PS, and read your pre-operative consent forms. 

Thomas Trevisani, Sr., MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 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.