Diastasis Recti - Should I have surgery or let it heal on its own?

I noticed a large abdominal bulge stretching from naval to sternum, roughly 3 inches wide- 2 inches in height. Discomfort at both extremes of bulge, reaching into the pelvic/pubic area where it feels like a burning sensation. GP diagnosed as ventral hernia. MS diagnosed as diastasis recti. He indicated no surgery necessary, Solution: weight loss/exercise would heal abnormality. In reviewing other posts, opinions varied from surgery to diet and exercise. Should I get another opinion?

Doctor Answers 7

Diastasis recti

Thank you for your question.  You should have this fixed by a surgeon, as it will not heal from weight loss and exercise.

All the best,

Dr. Results
Miami, FL

Diastasis recti

Thanks for your question. If you've truly been diagnosed with a diastasis recti, it will not heal on its own. This is a condition where the fascia of the abdominal muscles has stretched causing a bulge.  This only can be fixed with surgery.  Best to lose weight with diet and exercise and then undergo an abdominoplasty. At that time the diastasis is fixed with tightening of the fascial and muscles along with removal of the extra skin and fat of lower abdomen. 
Good luck.

Khashayar Mohebali, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Correcting a diastasis recti

Thank you for asking about your diastasis recti.


  • Neither a ventral hernia nor a diastasis recti will self-correct.
  • They are caused by disruption of connective tissue - like stretched elastic.
  • Surgery is required to repair both a hernia and a diastasis.
  • The surgery is much less complicated for the diastasis.
  • The question is what caused it? 
  • If the cause is not corrected, the diastasis or hernia will recur.
  • The usual cause of diastasis in a man is being overweight.
  • If you lose weight, the pressure is taken off the abdominal muscle -
  • At this point, surgery can be done to repair the muscle.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Hope you found this answer helpful. Best wishes.

Men with diastasis recti

Men who lose weight, in their abdominal cavity and around their organs, are often much like a pregnant women who have their rectus muscles move apart and stay apart. With weight loss then, the muscles move apart and stay apart and weight loss will help but never place them together because you have stretched the connecting "scar or fascia: that connects the muscle. Surgery puts the muscles back together and if their is not extra skin, I would recommend an endoscopic approach to avoid scarring. 

Diastasis Recti - Should I have surgery or let it heal on its own? Male Tummy Tuck

The ideal is for you to lose weight by diet and exercise, and then get a Tummy Tuck to the tightening or plication of the transverse rectus abdominal muscles (TRAM).

Adolfo Sesto, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Diastasis recti

Hello Michael,
The diastasis recti is a stretching of the fascia or tough grizzle-type tissue between the rectus muscles and it does not heal or tighten up with exercise or weight loss. Only a surgical tightening of this tissue will strengthen and flatten it. This is very similar to the operation that is done to repair a ventral hernia although it is generally not covered by insurance. On the other hand, exercise and/or weight loss may reduce the burning sensation that you experience.

Sheldon Lincenberg, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Diastasis Recti - Should I have surgery or let it heal on its wn?

If you have a true diastasis of your rectus abdominus muscles and/or a ventral hernia, no amount of exercise or dieting will correct this problem.  If there is a separation between the muscles - either diastasis or a true hernia - only a surgery can repair this problem.  Seek out a board certified plastic surgeon in your area they should be able to make the diagnosis and give you an idea of your options.  Best wishes, Dr Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 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.