Must a Diastasis Recti and Hernia Be Surgically Repaired? (photo)

I have seen a gastro and was told I have diastasis recti ..its about 4 fingers wide i think a small hernia in the linea Niagara ? My question is can I opt to only fix the hernia ? If so would the hernia most likely return if I dont repair the diastasis ? Or would there be any other complications ? I was referred to a surgeon but havent went yet . I am not obese , maybe be slightly overweight ? I am 5'7 162 lbs

Doctor Answers 3

Hernia repair vs muscle tightening


Thank you for the question and photos.  I suspect your hernia has two components including a weakness of the fascia and global laxity of the abdominal wall in the surrounding areas.  Approximation of the borders of the muscle as is performed during abdominal wall tightening can take care of most ventral hernias.  If the hernia size is very large and/or the the surrounding abdominal wall is also not that strong an overlay may also be used such as acellular dermal matrix or various synthetic mesh.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Correcting diastasis recti with a hernia repair doesn't have to be done

You can get the hernia repaired without having the diastasis recti repaired, but you may still have a wide abdomen or bulge afterward.  If you do want both corrected at the same time, you'll get some "added protection" from tummy tuck required to fix the split muscles.  One thing to consider is that the tummy tuck portion won't be covered by insurance.  However, some of the anesthesia and facility fees for the tummy tuck may be considered part of the hernia repair which would save you some money.  Good luck!  Dr. Schreiber...Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Diastasis Recti and Hernia

You certainly can opt to have just the hernia repaired. This will decrease the risk of the complications of unrepaired hernia. That will not improve the appearance of your abdominal wall, however. Repairing the diastasis will not affect the recurrence rate of the hernia. 

From the photos, if you chose to have the diastasis repaired as well, and had a tummy tuck which is usually "necessary" with this much of a diastasis (otherwise the skin would buckle in the midline) you would have a dramatic improvement in contour. Usually this surgery would be done by a plastic surgeon, who might ask a general surgeon's help with the actual hernia. 

When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.

Thank your for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.