Will Flared Ribs Interfere with How a Diastasis Recti Repair Will Hold Up?

I have diastasis recti after having my first baby in 2012. I am a petite women as I am 5'7 and 120lbs. I am especially petite on top. Before having my son I had a pretty flat tummy. Now since I have a diastasis of 3-3.5 fingers from my breast bone to pubic bone, my stomach bulges. I have flared ribs as well. I am concerned that the diastasis repair wont hold. I have heard stories from women where their muscles split again and the TT/diastasis repair and they didn't know why.

Doctor Answers 7

Diastasis repair

usually holds up well unless sutures fail, tissue fails to hold the suture, or you gain a lot of weight afterwards.  Flared ribs will not affect the repair but it could influence your final contours.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Repairing a diastasis recti

Flared ribs may have some effect on your result but it is not something that can be corrected.  It will have not effect on the repair of your anterior abdominal wall or correction your diastasis recti. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Flared ribs and tummy tucks

Great question. Your flared ribs will always be flared. That doesn't mean you can't have a tummy tuck that can achieve your goals of a flat tight abdomen. Educate yourself a little more with an in person consultation! 

Best of luck,

Dr Shifrin

David Shifrin, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

Diastasis Recti Repair

Thank you for your question. Flared ribs can have some effect on the degree of repair that can be achieved, but it is unlikely to affect recurrence.  With a two layered repair it is uncommon to have recurrence.  Weight gain and repeat pregnancy are the most common causes of recurrence of diastasis recti.  Given your height, weight and diastasis, you should be an excellent candidate for a tummy tuck.   All the best.

Flared ribcage after pregnancy

If you carried high it is very common for the lower ribcage to flare after pregnancy. Ordinarily this will not interfere withthe diastasis repair, however we are careful to get fully up to the xyphoid (the notch in the middle) to avoid a bulge in the upper abdomen. The diastasis repair will hold up if repaired well, and we prefer a double row of permanent sutures to make sure.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Will Flared Ribs Interfere with How a Diastasis Recti Repair Will Hold Up?

It is quite common for the lower rib flare to increase in small women after a pregnancy. I am unfamiliar with recurrence of a diastasis recti after having it repaired unless there was another pregnancy or significant weight gain, or unless the repair was done with dissolving sutures and even then it normally would hold up if the heavier sutures were used.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Will Flared Ribs Interfere with How a Diastasis Recti Repair Will Hold Up?

If the flared ribs were present before the pregnancy, and your abdomen was flat, I don't see any reason why the repair should hold up.  If the flaring is new and occurred with the pregnancy, I don't really know if that would increase the risk of failure, but I suspect not.

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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.