Common Complications for a Diastasis Repair Via Mini-tummy Tuck?

Are there any complications caused by a diastasis abdomen condition, and if so, is a mini tummy tuck the only corrective option available?

Doctor Answers 7


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Diastasis is not usually treaed adequately with a mini tummy tuck.  You are probably better off with a full tummy tuck,

Mini-tummy tuck. is it right for you?

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Diastasis of the abdomen is not generally viewed as a medical condition requiring repair unless it is an extreme case with impending herniation.  Diastasis generally describes the separation of rectus muscles in the midline from the rib cage down to the pubic bone.  The tissue in this stretched area can become so thin that it develops a hole which results in a "hernia" . Hernias should be evaluated by your surgeon and considered for repair. 

Addressing the abdominal muscle/diastasis (mid line separation) and degree of excess skin and fat will help determine the extent of the abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) required. In general, a mini tummy tuck removes a small amount of skin from the lower abdomen. This will tighten the lower abdominal skin only. Mini tummy tucks are typically reserved for patients with excellent muscle tone, no diastasis and minimal to no redundant skin above the belly button. Modified tummy tuck tighten (plicate) the abdominal muscle from the belly button down to the pubic bone and remove a portion of the redundant lower abdominal skin.

Liposuction may also be combined to further contour the abdomen and flanks/love handles. Modified tummy tuck procedures will not typically address the excess skin above the belly button, nor will the muscle bulge above the belly button be addressed. Full tummy tucks typically repair /plicate the muscle from the rib cage down to the pubic bone. The excess skin from the belly button down to the pubic bone is removed (to varying degrees). Full tummy tucks are typical for many women after pregnancy and men/women after extreme weight loss.

Deciding which tummy tuck would be appropriate for you will be determined at your detailed, individualized consultation by your surgeon. While a mini tummy tuck seems ideal, it may not accomplish your aesthetic goals. Hope this helped. Best of luck. Dr. Renucci

Muscle Diastasis Repair with Mini Tummy Tuck

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A "diastasis" is the medical term for widening of the normal separation of the muscles in the midline of the abdomen, the rectus or sit up muscles.  It often stretches with pregnancy and does not spring back.  Its repair is best done through a tummy tuck approach.  A mini tummy tuck can fix the muscles below the belly button but not in the upper abdomen.  If the diastsis is only in the lower abdomen then a mini tummy tuck is a good approach.  Laparocopic repairs of the diastasis without a tummy tuck have been disappointing and I no longer do them.

Diastasis Repair and Mini-Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question.

Diastasis recti  in and of itself does not necessarily cause complications. Abdominal wall hernias on the other hand can cause serious issues and should be repaired.

In my opinion, for example,the mini tummy tuck is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.
For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.

I hope this helps.

Mini tummy tuck vs. full tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)

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Diastasis recti (or rectus diastasis) is a common condition following childbirth.  Depending upon the extent and location of the diastasis (or separation), you may be better served by a full tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).  A full abdominoplasty allows greater visualization and treatment of the diastasis

Loren Schechter, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Diastasis Recti, Tummy Tuck

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Diastasis, or separation, of the rectus abdominis muscles (the six pack) is a common condition after pregnancy or large weight gain and has no medical consequences other than a rounder abdomen. It is usually repaired during a tummy tuck to get a flatter younger looking contour for the abdomen. It is uncommon now to do mini tucks because the full tuck gives so much better overall results. You would really need to see a board certified Plastic Surgeon to examine you and give you the options that would help you meet your goals.

Rectus diastasis and mini tummy tucks

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A true rectus diastasis is not a dangerous medical condition, is not a hernis, and in itself, needs no treatment.  However, to get a flatter abdomen, a tummy tuck is needed, and generally not a mini.  A mini will only address the tummy BELOW the belly button and can make the upper abdomen stick out farther.  Go to a plastic surgeon for an exam but realize that because the upper abdomen is untreated in a miniTT it is a rare operation in properly selected patients even though it sounds more like what you want to hear you need.

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.