I have diastasis recti, not from pregnancy, what are my treatment options?

I am a 22 year old female that believes to have a slight ab separation, maybe an inch. My midline protrudes, even though I'm considered slim (5'6 ft tall, 115-120 lbs). Also have back pains, especially from bad posture. Anytime I try fixing my posture, I get nausous. Additionally, the urge to urinate is increasingly more difficult to hold. The only ways of surgery I've found are tummy tucks, but I do not find a tummy tuck necessary. Can I receive surgery, if need be, that insurance would cover?

Doctor Answers 5

Diastasis recti is normal!

Hello. Everyone has some amount of separation between the abdominal muscles in the midline. I would recommend strenghening exercises to improve your core muscles, and this should help your posture, your back and may improve your other symptoms. If you do not have extra skin, and stretch marks, then I agree, you would not be a candidate for a tummy tuck.
Good Luck,


Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Diastasis repair in a young female

Thank you for your question. You are very young for all of the problems that you have described and I seriously doubt that they are all related to each other or to your diastasis.  You should have your primary care physician start your workup and you may need to see a urologist for the stress incontinence.  As others have stated, you need to make sure that you don't have a hernia rather than just a diastasis.  Unfortunately, both require surgery for repair.  

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Meet with your primary care doctor

Start by talking to your primary care doctor and tell him or her of the symptoms you are experiencing. They will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis and refer you to a specialist that may be covered by your insurance. 

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

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I have diastasis recti, not from pregnancy, what are my treatment options?

While diastasis can occur without pregnancy, your symptoms don't sound like they are related to the slight abdominal separation that you describe. I agree that you should start an evaluation process with your primary care physician.

Abdominal surgery

Based on the information you've provided I would suggest meeting with your primary care physician.  It may be that you do not have a diastasis, but that you may have a hernia.  Surgery to repair hernias is considered medical and therefore covered by most insurance.  Tummy tuck repairs which include repair of abdominal muscle separation are considered cosmetic and are not covered by insurance.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 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.