A small umbilical hernia (belly button hernia) in combination with a diastasis recti?

What are the best exercises for this issue? I have been doing exercises targeting my diastasis recti, (within one week from two finger width to one finger width) but it appears those exercises may have worsened the belly button hernia. Seems, to be protruding more often (I push it back in).

Doctor Answers 6

TT for an umbilical hernia

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Far more important than deciding if a tummy tuck is for you is the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon. Choose your surgeon rather than the technique and let him explain why one technique may be better than another and if you need a tummy tuck. Many board certified plastic surgeons provide a free first time consult and you should take advantage of that!
See the below link on some suggestions on finding the most qualified Plastic Surgeon for you!The best clients are patients who are healthy but have EXCESS SKIN OR FAT that does not respond to diet and exercise. Patients who have undergone SIGNIFICANT WEIGHT LOSS and have hanging skin. Women with loose skin and stretch marks FOLLOWING PREGNANCY, as in your case. Anyone with LOSS OF SKIN ELASTICITY. Patients who are unable to tighten the abdominal wall with exercise. If you have loose or sagging abdominal wall skin; often associated with relaxation of the anterior abdominal wall muscles (frequently secondary to multiple pregnancies)

Umbilical Hernia Repair

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Thank you for your question. The two tummy muscle have a band holding them together, running down the middle of the abdomen. With weight gain, weight loss or pregnancy, this band widens, resulting in a diastasis recti. Further weakening of this band can also result in a hernia. Because this is caused by the malposition of the tummy muscles not muscle weakness, strengthening exercises will not improve the problem. If you just want the umbilical hernia repaired, that can be performed through a small belly button incision. If you want the diastasis repaired as well, that would probably require a tummy tuck.

Umbilical hernia

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An umbilical hernia will not go away with just exercise. It will require  surgical procedure to be repaired. Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question.  It is very difficult to correct rectus diastasis through exercise alone, as the tissue between the two rows of abdominal muscles has been stretched.  This can be addressed as a component of a tummy tuck procedure, at which time a small umbilical hernia could also be repaired.  A tummy tuck would also involve liposuction of any excess fat in the lower abdomen and flanks, with removal of any excess skin.  It's always important to seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who can provide the best advice for you specifically and ensure the highest level of care.  Best of luck!

Benjamin Wood, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Hernia and exercising

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Thanks for your question. What you are trying to do can be accomplished with a tummy tuck. Your hernia can be repaired a the same time as the tummy tuck. I suggest you consult a board certified plastic surgeon in your area for a complete evaluation. You can address the hernia issue at that time as well. Good luck!

Brian Widenhouse, MD
Charleston Plastic Surgeon

Abdominal evaluation

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Hello and thank you for your question. I recommend that you seek consultation for an in-person examination with a plastic surgeon to evaluate this.  If you are an appropriate candidate for a tummy tuck, this can be done through a low and short incision, all completely below the bikini line.  Your muscles can also be plicated resulting in a flat abdomen.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 172 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.