Diastasis Not Repairable?

I have an Umbilical Hernia...My surgeon says that repairing my hernia won't repair the diastasis. I asked him what needs to be done and how much does it cost? He says, "I don't know any surgeon who is gonna touch that." He says that I should work on my belly and it'll go down, but not entirely. Why do I have to live with it?

Doctor Answers 6

Rectus diastasis and umbilical hernia

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The rectus diastases is created through pregnancy when the muscles have stretched and do not return to the original position. An umbilical hernia is a a defect in the abdominal muscular wall that allows a communication between the internal abdominal  contents and tissue plane above the muscle.  Both of these can be repaired with the traditional tummy tuck procedure.  If you are going to a specialist that only deals with umbilical hernias, they may not have the experience to do a diastases repair at the same time. I would seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon who has expertise in both of these concerns.

Hernia and tummy tuck

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An umbilical hernia (belly button) can be repaired at the same operation as diastasis.  The type of hernia you have may require a general surgeon to assist.  However the midline diastasis can be tightened after fixing the belly button hernia.

A small hernia can often be repaired by the plastic surgeon at the time of the tummy tuck.  However I would recommend having a consultation with a board certified general surgeon if the hernia is large.

Visit a board certified plastic surgeon for an abdominoplasty consultation. 

Andrew Turk, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Umbilical hernia repair at the time of a tummy tuck

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I perform umbilical hernia repairs along with rectus diastasis repairs all the time.  This is a very common combination.  You should see some other doctors.

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Umbilical hernia repair during abdominoplasty

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Seek out a board certified plastic surgeon with training in general surgery. This surgeon should be able to manage both the umbilical hernia (assuming its not huge) and the rectus diastasis during an abdominoplasty procedure. The umbilical hernia portion of the operation could be billed to your insurance. The rectus diastasis is not considered to be a 'hernia' and is a cosmetic issue, so your insurance company won't pay for that portion of the operation.

Diastasis and umbi hernia both repairable

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Of course without seeing you and knowing more it is difficult to offer advice, but in general diastasis - a separation of the muscles in the front of the abdomen - is repairable and is a routine part of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). An umbilical hernia is a separate issue but can also be repaired. There are of course extreme cases and the occasional exception, and doing them at the same time is not always possible. It can get tricky if you are going for insurance coverage as the umbi hernia might be covered but the diastasis repair typically isn't.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Diastasis with Umbilical Hernia

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It should be possible to have your umbilical hernia repaired at the time of a tummy tuck with diastasis repair.  It may be necessary, however, to have the hernia repaired by a general surgeon in a combined procedure with your plastic surgeon.  Most general surgeons are willing to do this.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic 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.