Diastisis recti or hernia? (photo)

I've had two kids back to back, and am currently at 15 months post partum. My belly isn't very nice looking anymore. I have a weird bulge that appears when I tighten my stomach muscles or when I sit up from a laying position. My chiropractor didn't feel a diastisis recti, but said it might be a hernia. I have an appointment set up with a PT on Monday to look at it, and with a surgeon on Dec 1. I'm including a picture- please let me know what you think.

Doctor Answers 2

Diastasis or Hernia?

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The best way to determine the difference between diastasis recti and true hernia is on physical exam, but the photo you have provided and your history of back to back pregnancies supports a diagnosis of a typical diastasis, or separation of the abdominal wall muscles often seen after pregnancy or significant weight gain and weight loss.  In the absence of a surgical history it is less likely, although not impossible, that this is a hernia.  An experienced surgeon (rather than a chiropractor or PT) is the best person to examine and determine your true diagnosis. Depending on your exam, a plan can be made for the best means of correction, which will involve repair of the muscles with or without removal of skin.  Good luck!

Hernia vs Diastasis Recti

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it's important to differentiate a hernia from a Diastais Recti. That said, I prefer to repair any diastasis recti At the same time as a concomitant hernia as I believe it improves the outcome of the hernia repair too. 

If you have a lot of extra loose skin, - tummy tuck by your plastic surgeon may help fix all of that. Otherwise, if not too much loose skin, I choose robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery with hernia and tummy tuck done at the same time. Short recovery. Three little scars. 

Shirin Towfigh, MD
Beverly Hills General Surgeon

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.