I'm 21 yrs old, never pregnant, have umbilical hernia, and bloated. Could I have diastasis recti? (photos)

I am 21,never been pregnant but told I have an umbilical hernia. I feel a seperation, could this be diastasis recti? I am in very good shape and compete in fitness competitions, yet I get incredibly bloated after eating anything, it never completely goes away, and after eating a lot it is terrible. If I get surgery for my hernia, would they see if there was an abdominal seperation during the laparoscopic procedure?

Doctor Answers 8


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Wow!  Are you trying to push out your abdomen in that photo or is that your natural appearance?  If it is, I would recommend having a full GI work up first. You may have delayed gastric emptying of intestinal dysmotility causing increased abdominal pressure.

Fayetteville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Bloating with umbilical hernia

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Thank you for your question about a tummy tuck.

An examination is needed but your description and the photo suggest you do have a large hernia or else a wide diastasis of the rectus muscles that needs to be repaired.
Or an underlying intestinal disorder.

You need this diagnosed before your umbilical hernia repair. They are two different operations.
your hernia surgeon may not be comfortable repairing the diastasis. 
Discuss your concern with your hernia surgeon and a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon - well before your hernia repair.  You may need additional tests of your intestines before surgery as well.

Hope you find this answer helpful. Have a great day!

Abdominal wall laxity is possible without previous pregnancy.

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It is possible you could have abdominal wall laxity. This could translate into the diastasis. There are other possibilities as well. The physical examination would be necessary.

I'm 21 yrs old, never pregnant, have umbilical hernia, and bloated. Could I have diastasis recti?

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   I would have to examine you to make a determination about what may be best for you.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

I'm 21 yrs old, never pregnant, have umbilical hernia, and bloated. Could I have diastasis recti?

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Without an IN PERSON complete examination the over the internet 'guess' - is YES!. But you need to be seen IN PERSON... 


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Just as your umbilical hernia was diagnosed by exam so should a diastasis.  Your surgeon should be able to tell you prior to surgery on examination 

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

21 year old with diastasis?

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Impossible to tell from photo provided.  Unlikely that you have a significant diastasis (tho not impossible) at age 21, no pregnancies and no history of being overweight.  Your bloating sounds like it may be more related to your bowels than your abdominal muscle configuration.  Bloating like you describe can be related to constipation or gas.  Could be some sort of food intolerance.  Not sure I would jump to surgical correction just yet.

Mary Gingrass, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Diastasis recti?

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From the photograph it is not possible to tell if you have a diastasis recti since this is in the midline, usually above the umbilicus (belly button).  To make this diagnosis, you really need to be examined.  This would likely be repaired with the abdominoplasty midline plication of the rectus abdomens muscle fascia from the xiphoid (tip of the breast bone) to the umbilicus.  Laparoscopic hernia repair may not necessarily see or look for this.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

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