I Have a Distasis Recti Hernia. I Have Severe Mid Back Pain. Can This Be Surgically Repaired?

The hernia is about three inches wide and approximately eight inches in length. My back pain has hit the intolerable level. Would surgery be able to repair this. Three years ago I had umbilical hernia repair.

Doctor Answers 4

Failure of Hernia Repair and Recurrence

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   If you have a recurrence of the hernia and increasing size of defect you have several options.  You should have a conversation about your situation with a general surgeon and a plastic surgeon about what is best.  You may be a candidate for component separation or hernia repair with mesh or diastasis repair.  These are all different and need to be considered after exam and imaging.  Whether or not this will improve your back pain will depend upon the structural integrity of your back.  Kenneth Hughes, MD male tummy tuck Los Angeles, CA

Distasis Recti Hernia

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Diastasis rectus and hernia are two distinct entities. A hernia has an actual defect in the abdominal wall, through which abdominal contents can protrude. Diastasis is a widening of the rectus muscles, leaving a weak area in between. A diastasis is generally held not to cause any symptoms, and I would not expect relief of your back pain if this is repaired. 

The diagnosis of hernia might be made on exam by your surgeon, or might be made based upon imaging--often a CT scan. 

Either a hernia or a diastasis can be repaired. Thanks for your question, best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Hernia versus Diasthasis

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I agree that the key here is whether you have a true hernia (hole in abdominal wall) or a diasthasis (weakness). Both can be repaired, but the treatment is slightly different.  A physical exam might give the answer, but you may require a CT scan to really see what is going on. Either way, it can be repaired through a low, hidden, tummy tuck incision.

Rectus diastasis, hernia and back pain.

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Do you have a true hernia (hole in the fascia) or just weakening form the thin fascia of the diastasis? If there is a true hernia, it is quite possible that insurance may cover a portion of the surgical costs. It is less likely to cover if it is just a diastasis.

Several studies have shown that tightening the abdominal muscles can help stabilize the core muscles and help reduce back pain. Make sure there are not anatomic reasons for your back issues by consulting with a spine specialist and then consult a plastic surgeon for the abdomen. Good luck.

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

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