Can repairing Diastasis on small framed fit people make it worse?

I have a small Diastasis after 3 pregnancies all resulting in c section. I am a small framed person with a belly bulge that gets worse as the day goes on. I had a consultation with a general surgeon. He agreed it was there but recommended I not do anything. and He said I could have a PS go in and fix it, but could also make it worse because I am a small, fit individual. I could potentially end up with worse problems such as a hole and a hernia should I get it fixed. Feeling confused?

Doctor Answers 5

Can repairing Diastasis on small framed fit people make it worse?

Dear Dyno215,
Your general surgeon may be a little jaded by experiences in trying to repair true ventral hernias primarily (sewing the two sides together) which tends to work less well than using a reinforcing substance like mesh. Repairing the rectus diastasis is different than a ventral hernia repair, and you will likely hear from most plastic surgeons that we do not see things getting worse after a tummy tuck. Partial muscle repair just below the belly button can create more of a bulging in the upper abdomen, so ask questions if your are not having a standard abdominoplasty. Also, some patients really have quite weak tissue or are too heavy to have a nice outcome, but that doesn't sound like you. Those patients may be at higher risk for a hernia.
Good core strength is also essential and can improve the look of an abdomen with just a mild rectus so it is always best to do what you can at the gym on your own first.
Best of luck,

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Can repairing a diastasis on small framed, fit people make it worse?

Thank you for your excellent question.  A diastasis is a separation of the muscles that run vertically along the middle of your abdomen.  There is no distinct defect within this area that would be concerning during a repair to cause it to worsen.  Most women with a separation benefit from the repair, both functionally and aesthetically.  If the repair were to fail for some reason the only consequence is that it would return your abdominal appearance to its current state.  See a board certified plastic surgeon in consultation to have the best recommendations made.  Best wishes.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Can repairing Diastasis on small framed fit people make it worse?

Keep in mind that following advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you exactly what to do without seeing photos and more importantly without examining you, physically feeling your tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest that you find a surgeon certified by the American Board of American Plastic Surgery and one who is ideally a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla,California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Can repairing Diastasis on small framed fit people make it worse?

Based on your history and description of goals, I think you will likely benefit from tummy tuck surgery ( including muscle plication). Generally speaking, the vast majority of patients (Including petite patients) who present for tummy tuck surgery benefit from muscle plication; as you know, this part of the tummy tuck procedure serves to re-approximate the muscles that have spread during pregnancy or weight gain/loss. Omitting this part of the procedure will potentially leave patients with continued abdominal wall laxity and, in my opinion, a less than optimal result.

Seek consultations with well experienced board certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping patients achieve the types of outcomes you would be pleased with.  
Best wishes.

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

Muscle diastasis repair

It is difficult to give you answer to such a general question. A series of photos and a detailed clinical exam will help. You should seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area and discuss your options. Good luck.

Zoran Potparic, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.