Do I Need a Full Tummy Tuck to Repair a Diastasis? (photo)

Hello, I am 3 months post-partum after my third baby. I think I have abdominal separation (seems to be about 3 finger widths from a self test) which gives me this buldge making it impossible to wear tight clothing without feeling pregnant/fat. Can you tell from these photos if it looks like I have separation for sure... and would I need a full tummy tuck to correct this problem? Any chance it could repair itself with the "right" exercises designed for diastasis recti? Thanks

Doctor Answers 8

Diastasis and Full Tummy Tuck

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You may eventually do well with a tummy tuck and need a tummy tuck but you are only three months post partum.  During those 9 months every muscle in your body was losing tone along with some tendons and ligaments.  A natural process so you can expand your abdominal wall and birth the baby.  I would exercise like crazy to tighten the fascia  and see where you end up.  Understand that exercise will not solve the problem but it will make your end result better and your recovery quicker.


Dr. Kearney

La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

You do not have to have a full tummy tuck to repair a rectus diastasis - but you may want to

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I have a lot of patients that look like this - and here is the problem. You have a diastasis. You have some loose skin. If your diastasis was repaired alone, you will have EVEN MORE skin, because your skinny abdominal wall will be even smaller, so there will be more loose skin! A mini-abdominoplasty ONLY removes skin from BETWEEN THE BELLY BUTTON AND THE INCISION. Luckily, most of your excess skin IS between the belly button and where an incision would go, so fixing the diastasis and doing a mini TT would be pretty great. But check it out -you have a little extra skin ABOVE the belly button too. Not a lot, but what you have would get a little worse. If this is acceptable to you, have the mini TT. Remebre you will have loose skin over the belly button and it will especially get worse when you lean over. If it is not acceptable to you, have a full abdominoplasty, but the scar will be longer and may even have a little vertical part. Ironically, this case is harder for plastic surgeons that someone with a big ol' gut.

Lisa Cassileth, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Diastasis can be corrected with a mini tummy tuck

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In order to tell if you have have a diastasis, do a partial sit-up and see if you can place your fingertips between the muscles as you do. Once the separation is there exercise will not reduce it. You can have a correction with a mini tummy tuck (without translocation of the belly button) if the skin laxity does not warrant the full, however the laxity above the belly button might be a bother to you later on.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Rectus repair

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Looks like you need a rectus repair and tummy tuck from your pictures and description. Your local board certified plastic surgeon should be able to help you. Good luck!

Gregory T. Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Full tummy tuck to repair diastasis?

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the diastasis will not go away without surgical correction. you do not look like you have enough skin for a full tummy tuck, so I would probably do a modified with a smaller scar as for a mini abdominoplasty with repair of the diastasis all the way up though.

it is hard to be 100% sure without checking laxity with an examination however. I would recommend you get opinions from plastic surgeons in your area.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Do I Need a Full Tummy Tuck to Repair a Diastasis?

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Very hasrd to advise with these posted photos if you are a candidate for a FULL TT. Best to be seen in person by boarded PSs in your area. 

You would need a full tummy tuck.

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Your diastasis will never go away by itself or with exercise. The fascia is stretched out and needs to be sutured together. A full tummy tuck is needed to do this, also it looks as if you have plenty of skin and will do well with a tt.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Tummy tuck or exercise

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Dear mother of three,

     Your pictures shows the follows : Diasthesis recti up to the mid upper abdomen, skin laxity with strech marks, high postion of  redundent belly button. To obtain the best result there is no escape from a full tummy tuck. You can compromise with a mini procedure ,but the result will be less than optimal. Exercise will not correct the skin laxity and the separation of the muscles. A full tummy tuck will give you the follows :  A flat stomach, tight skin with most of the strech marks gone, a nice belly button - round or oval to your wishes. Be sure to consult with experienced board certified plastic surgeon.

                         Best of luck,

                                                    Dr Widder

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.