Diastasis - What Does It Look Like?

I was just wondering if my stomach looks the way it does because of Diastasis? Or is it from my previous C-section? Is a Tummy Tuck my only hope?

Doctor Answers 12

A tummy tuck may be your only hope

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A tummy tuck may be your only hope, though I cannot say with absolute certainty based on pictures alone. I'm attaching a video where I explain how you can examine yourself to determine if you have separated abdominis muscles, otherwise knowns as rectus diastasis.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 98 reviews


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A Diastasis is a separation of the rectus muscles which usually is caused by pregnancy in women.  The diastasis contributes to the protuberance of the abdomen.  If you lie flat on a table, lift your head off the table with the core (abdominal) muscle you can feel the muscle separation when you run your hand over the center of the abdomen.  Your Plastic Surgeon can show you if you are having trouble.

Thanks for the photo.  It tells me you need a Standard LipoAbdominoplasty with a Diastasis Repair.  You should achieve an excellent result since you appear to be in good shape and are not overweight.

Todd B. Koch, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

The cause of your abdominal appearance

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Your tummy tuck appearance is due to: EXCESS SKIN. The diastasis may be contributing to this but it is not the primary problem. The only effective way to reduce excess skin is via tummy tuck. Non-surgical techniques may provide slight but negligible improvements

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Tummy tuck

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A tummy tuck is the best way to treat your abdomen. It is mainly loos skin and you may very well have a diastasis but I can not tell without an exam.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Diastasis fixed at time of tummy tuck

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I suspect that you probably do have a diastasis (separation of the abdominal muscles). The easiest way to tell is to gently press your fingers between your abdominal muscles (at the midline) while relaxed and laying down. If your fingers feel like they are easily sliding towards your spine, you have a diastasis.

You are an excellent candidate for a tummy tuck and I would recommend bringing the muscles back together during the operation.

Lawrence Iteld, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Is a Tummy Tuck Your Only Hope

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A tummy tuck is the best (and only) option for addressing your problem.  

A tummy tuck addresses two issues:  rectus diastasis and excess abdominal skin (and fat).  It appears that you have both issues, likely a result of your pregnancy.  The rectus diastasis is simply a separation of the two rectus muscles.  Pregnancy causes the abdominal wall to stretch out and the muscles to separate.  It also causes the abdominal skin to stretch out, giving the appearance of lax, hanging skin.

The good news is that a tummy tuck will be a home run for you as it will very effectively correct both issues.

Gary D. Breslow, MD, FACS
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Is this Tummy Muscle Separation (Diastasis)?

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Regarding :  "Diastasis - What Does It Look Like?  I was just wondering if my stomach looks the way it does because of Diastasis? Or is it from my previous C-section? Is a Tummy Tuck my only hope?"

The odds that you have clinically significant muscle separation or diastasis are VERY high. You are a thin woman with a significant amount of excess, stretch mark damaged skin. That skin did not just happen. You must have had at least one, if not more, pregnancies. For the pregnancies to be associated with such skin excess and damage, your uterus MUST have once or several times split the rectus abdominis (6 pack) muscles and stretched the abdominal wall muscles BEFORE damaging and stretching the more superficial skin.If you want confirmation you can do one or both tests: 1. Lay on your back. Put your right hand with in curled fingers just below the belly button and lift your head off the bed or floor. If you feel your hands sinking in a wide trough that extends vertically - you have a diastasis. 2. stand sideways in front of your mirror. Lean over like you are jumping off the edge of a pool and RELAX your muscles completely (NOT easy to do). Once the muscles are relaxed, do you have a "positive hammock sign"? If so, you have a diastasis.

Finally, as regards "Is a Tummy Tuck my only hope?", good golly Brandie - you do not have cancer!  You do not HAVE to have a Tummy Tuck. But - you are a thin woman who can have a fantastic result. So, for the BEST, flattest, hottest tummy you have ever had, a Full Tummy Tuck is THE answer. Everything else will be a disappointment.

Good Luck.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Loose skin and fat in the tummy along with stretch marks and fullness- what should I do?

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These are the typical findings in a woman after pregnancy.  A full abdominoplasty will address each of these problems and restore your abdomen to its pre pregnancy condition.  The surgeon will remove the excess skin, bring the muscles back together again in the midline, and also contour any remaining fatty tissue around the middle.  The final result is a nice tight tummy area, and many of the stretch marks will be removed.

Claudio DeLorenzi, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon


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Thanks for your posted photo. Your issues are the C-section scar, excess skin/fat, and a diastasis. A Full Tummy tuck will address these issues. Regards Dr. Darryl J. Blinski

Skin Laxity and Tummy Tuck

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You appear to have significant skin laxity.  You may also have a diastasis, however this is not obvious from the photos.  A tummy tuck , even without diastasis, is probably your best option.  You should consider  further evaluation by a board-certified plastic surgeon to  fully evaluate your options.

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston 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.