I Have a Self Diagnosed Diastasis Recti. Now What?

28 year old male with a self diagnosed Diastasis Recti. I don't believe the exercises will work, but I'm not happy about the "tummy tuck" procedure either. Can this be corrected laparoscopically? I'm also slightly overweight and need to loose some wight before the surgery. I was thinking about doing P90X. Will traditional abdominal exercise make this condition worse? If I do abdominal exercises with this condition, will my abs take on a unusual form and cause problems when I get this repaired?

Doctor Answers 6

Diastasis repair needed?

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Consider removal of skin to tighten area. If you have  looseness or diastasis then you could get a tummy tuck where the fascia is tightened. If fascia is not loose then lipo. In your situation a tummy tuck will help significantly but there is no medical necessity to have the operation. Good luck!

Rectus diastasis is a separation of the rectus abdominis muscles.

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Rectus diastasis is a separation of the rectus abdominis muscles. It can vary in terms of severity. It can be mild or it can be extreme. If the rectus diastasis is extreme, abdominal contents like small bowel and intestinal fat can herniate through this opening. Exercise will not fix this problem. Exercise will probably make the problem of rectus diastasis worse. I would not encourage you to do abdominal exercises to try to improve this condition. The only way to correct rectus diastasis is with surgery. Surgical correction can be done laparoscopically, but it is very difficult. The best way to fix rectus diastasis is through an incision created in the lower portion of the abdomen under the belt line. Through this incision, the abdominal wall is reached
and the rectus muscles plicated. During surgery the muscles are sutured together and the gap between the muscles is closed. Closing the diastaisis, minimizes the chances of small bowel or intestinal fat trying to creep between the muscles. In addition, tightening the rectus abdominis muscles will also lead to a flatter abdomen. Good luck with your surgery. Sincerely Dr. Katzen

Self diagnosed diastasis?

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One would want to know what you mean by that as its very uncommon in men unless you were massively overweight at one time.  Regardless, you do need to get to your baseline weight before considering surgery and exercise will not hurt so you're encouraged to do as much as you can as it will make it easier for your doctor to appreciate when you have your consultation.  Endoscopic repairs can be done so you should make sure your surgeon is proficient at that technique since not all of us do that.

Diastasis Recti.

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Agree that you should first get down to ideal weight. At that time, see a plastic surgeon to review the options. 

Some patients can have this done endoscopically, but if there is a wide diastasis, the skin will be brought together by the repair and may therefore buckle causing an unexpected appearance that is not pleasant. The overwhelming majority of diastasis repairs are done at the time of tummy tuck. 

Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Abdominoplasty and diastisis recti

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You are absolutley right about deferring any type of surgery until you lose some weight and stablize your conditions. Any type of exercise, conventional or specific for muscle strenghening would not have any paradoxical effect on your diastisis recti prior to your syrgery. Your condition could be repaired with or without tummy tuck, but not by laparascopy. Endoscopic remedy, however is available for selected patients.

Diastasis Recti in Males

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   I would find a good plastic surgeon and get an exam before I plan for a surgery for rectus diastasis.  This is fairly unusual for a young healthy male.  Kenneth Hughes, MD male tummy tuck Los Angeles, CA

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.