I Have a 1.5 Finger Width Diastasis Recti and an Outie Belly Button? (photo)

i had back to back pregnancies and i am now 10 months postnatal. my first pregnancy was a singleton and my second was twins. both were full term and delivered naturally. i have a 1.5 finger width diastasis recti and i havent fully tried rehabbing thru pt and pilates. my hope is to rehab fully without surgery but i would like to have my belly button surgical repaired to an innie. im 15 lbs from goal weight and im also bloated. how realistic are my goals and what are my options? thanks

Doctor Answers 12

Rectus plication and hernia repair

Exercise will not make you better and may make your hernia bigger. You appear to need full rectus plication and hernia repair. If a complete umbilical skin incision is made you may have loss of adequate blood flow to belly button and skin necrosis. Best option in my opinion is to do hernia repair as insurance procedure with a with mini tummy tuck with full rectus plication. You need to find someone who can do this with only a upper 1/2 belly button incision, I use a narrow lighted retractor and with a good assistant the procedure takes about 2 hours. Good Luck!

Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Will Exercise Correct My Tummy After Multiple Pregnancies?

Thank you very much for the excellent question and accompanying photos.  You look wonderful for someone who has had multiple pregnancies!

The diastasis rectii (separation of the muscles in the middle) will not respond adequately to exercise only.  The reason for this is that the separation between the two sides of the rectus muscle (which run side by side down the middle of your tummy) is related to looseness of the fascia which is tissue that connects the two muscles in the middle.  Your core exercises will strengthen the abdominal muscles, however, it will have no effect on the fascia which needs to be surgically tightened to correct the diastasis rectii.

You also appear to have a belly button hernia which can easily be corrected either alone or, if you choose, at the same time as the tummy tuck.  I routinely repair belly button hernias during tummy procedures if necessary.

Remember, you look wonderful and toning your abdominal area may be all you need to be happy!

Louis DeLuca, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Can I get my tummy back with exercise?

Thank you for your question and a very important one. You have a very nice abdomen for having three kids with twins.  The abdomen is. Stretched  and will only come back a certain amount which you probably have by this time.  Exercise can tighten the muscle but not really close the gap between the muscles.  The belly button looks like a small hernia that can be repaired at the time of a tummy tuck. A general surgeon can repair it separately but the blood supply could be comprimised.  If you choose this route have the plastic surgeon discuss this with the plastic surgeon for future planning.  Good luck

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Umbilical hernia

The issue with the navel is an umbilical hernia, which can be repaired. Usually these are fixed by general surgeons. 

As to strengthening the abdominal wall, by all means try. Some women get enough improvement that they no longer consider surgery. If this doesn't work for you, you can expect a nice outcome with a tummy tuck.

Thank you for your question. Best wishes.

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

Tummy tuck

Your outie is from the umbiilical hernia. You will benefit greatly from a abdominoplasty with a diastasis and hernia repair done at the same time

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

I Have a 1.5 Finger Width Diastasis Recti and an Outie Belly Button?

Sorry to say ONLY TT with muscle repair along with umbilical hernias repair safe indicated. Seek in person evaluations from boarded PSs in your city. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Hernia Repair and Plication

     You do not appear to have a lot of skin laxity.  As such hernia repair, outie to innie repair, and plication with small incision minitummytuck may be appropriate.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Outie belly button and rectus diastasis.

Kids are wonderful, but they wreak havoc on women's  bodies. You appear to be an excellent candidate for a tummy tuck. Your photos demonstrate the typical appearance of the rectus diastasis that cannot be corrected by exercise or diet. It is an anatomical stretching of the muscle lining that can only be corrected by surgical tightening. The outie belly button is from a small hernia that is corrected at the same time as the tummy tuck and often covered by insurance.

Good luck as you should have a very nice result since you are motivated and in really good shape to start. 

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Best Option for Abdominal Wall Concerns?

Thank you for the question and pictures.

You should be quite proud of the appearance of your abdomen ( thanks to your efforts through diet and exercise). Your options at this point include:

1. Repair of the umbilical hernia ( which will obviously address the appearance of the umbilicus, if done by a surgeon with an eye to aesthetics).

2. A full tummy tuck if you wish to achieve a flatter contour of the abdominal wall. Unfortunately, despite your commendable efforts, there's only so much that you will be able to achieve after twin pregnancy and spreading of the abdominal wall muscles.

 Be careful if you are offered the “mini” tummy tuck procedure. In my opinion, the mini tummy talk is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present in consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

 I hope this (and the attached link) helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

How to address a lax abdomen with an "outie" belly button

Thank you for your helpful photos. Based on your concerns, desires and photos (though the lowest part of your abdomen can't be seen), it appears that a full tummy tuck may be the most effective and prudent approach to improve the appearance of your abdomen along with correction of your umbilicus. You do have significant protuberance both above and below your belly button along with apparent laxity which would not be effectively addressed by a mini tummy tuck.

Ultimately, a physical examination by a board certified plastic surgeon can provide you with the appropriate options including the pros and cons.

Good luck!

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 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.