Diastasis correction without tummy tuck?

Should I consider having a diastastis reconstruction without a tummy tuck? My skin tone is not that bad, but functionally and aesthetically I do not like what two pregnancies did to my diastasis. What happens with the belly button in a diastasis reconstruction without a tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers 8

Can I just repair the diastasis, leave the skin alone?

With pregnancy, the skin and muscle stretch together. with rare exceptions (low lying inherited diastasis is one example), if you muscle is repaired, not the skin, you will have large bunches of skin in the middle of your stomach. For this reason, the two are repaired at the same time.

Diastasis only

When repairing a diastasis, unless it is minor, it requires significant undermining of the skin to avoid bunching in the midline.  This skin may benefit from excision along a lower transverse incision.  For this reason diastasis only repair are not common since few people do not benefit from this skin excision portion.  

Diastasis correction without tummy tuck?

I have done this, but so few people benefit from only diastasis correction.   Find an expert with great reviews and before and after pictures.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Diastasis repair without tummy tuck

implies that you're seeking someone who can do this endoscopically for you to limit the visible scar.  If you need to have an open approach, you might as well have a tuck of some sort and remove some excess skin while you're at it.  With the endoscope, you will have  to find surgeons experienced with that technique and you can ask them what, if anything, happens to the belly button.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Diastasis recti correction without tummy tuck

If diastasis recti is present, a full tummy tuck is normally required to repair it. However, you may also be a candidate for a relatively new technique known as Floating Abdominoplasty (FAB).

Floating abdominoplasty uses a small incision in the lower abdomen to allow for the tummy to be tightened and shaped. No incision around the belly button is needed. Through the incision, excess skin is removed and muscles can be tightened. The belly button is temporarily detached during the surgery to allow for this. You experience muscle tightening from sternum to pubic area. After the belly button is reattached (and moved down if necessary) the incisions are sutured. Liposuction can be performed if necessary to eliminate excess fat.

Talk to a certified plastic surgeon with experience in performing extended mini abdominoplasty. They'll be able to let you know if the procedure is suitable for you. 

Diastasis recti

Diastasis recti is separation of the rectus abdominal muscles that happens with pregnancy or even weight gain and subsequent loss.  Correction is by suturing the muscles together.  This can be done by elevating the skin and the belly button (if needed) through a c-section type incision and the closing.  If only the lower part of the muscle is separated the belly button doesn't need to be touched.  In either case a modest amount of skin can be removed at the same time to improve the result.  It would be helpful to have some photos to give you a more specific recommendation.

Diastasis correction

Thank you for your question.  Without a photo and/or physical exam, it's hard to advise you on exactly what to do.  If your diasthasis is narrow, it can be repaired with a small incision below your swimsuit line.  If it's wide, you may have some loose skin which will need to be pulled downward and removed with a "mini-tummy tuck".  If you look on my website in the before/after gallery, you will see an example of a  woman in the "mommy makeover" section that had a diasthasis repair with minimal scarring and no bellybutton scar.

Diastasis correction without tummy tuck?

There are procedures where the diastasis can be corrected with a laparoscopic approach and you could also have it done through a small incision similar in size to a C-section scar. The belly button can be lifted up off the muscle with no incision on the skin around it, then the base of the belly button is sutured back down to the muscle. You should contact a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area to evaluate you and discuss the options.

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.