During my First Pregnancy my Stomach Muscle Had Completely Diversified. After 2nd Child, Drs. Recommend Mesh. What Can I Expect?

Doctors are suggesting I get a plastic mesh insertion treatment. My stomach protrudes out very prominently like a full term pregnant lady's would. What should I do? I am apprehensive about the treatment suggested, the mesh, infection, actual procedure-2incisions horizontally and recovery. Is surgery the only option( / alternate medicine) and can it be done laproscopically? I've been told otherwise. (Both my deliveries were c section with a gap of 4.5 years between them.) Please advise. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 7

Mesh repair and tummy tuck

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Are the doctors suggesting the mesh repair to you plastic surgeon?  I recommend that you  see a board-certified plastic surgeon to see if you are a candidate for TT with muscle repair.

Alternate medicine will not work. This will not get better on its own without surgery.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

How to best correct weakened stomach muscle after childbirth?

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Usually you can just plicate (pull together) the muscles.  If you have a large hernia you may need mesh to close the opening.  I would consider a visit with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for his/her opinion following an exam.

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Repair of Diastasis Recti?

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Thank you for the question.

Based on your description you will  likely be a good candidate for the tummy tuck procedure. During this procedure the abdominal wall muscles are sutured to one another in the midline (plication). The use of mesh is generally not necessary.

I would  suggest seeking additional opinions from well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.

Best wishes.

Widely separated Stomach Muscles after 2nd Child

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The medical term for wide separation of stomach muscles following pregnancy is Rectus Diastasis. In can sometimes be quite severe and look like you have described. Surgery really is your only option. When your muscles are separated this far, nonsurgical options are not usually effective. If you do not have a true hernia and are not overweight, then mesh really shouldn't be necessary. A partial laparscopic approach might be feasible but likely diffiult. This could be corrected through a Tummy Tuck approach, the muscles can be repaired and you would get the additional benefits of the tummp tuck.


Protruding tummy or diastasis recti after pregnancy

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Allow me to explain what has happened to you. With pregnancy, as you know, tissues are stretched to allow growth of baby. There's a lining called fascia which helps keep your abdomen flat. With pregnancy this lining is often damaged or torn. When it is torn it is called a hernia where abdominal contents can protrude and become stuck. When this lining is damaged or weakened it can cause what you are describing. Laparoscopic insertion of the mesh will not help you as this is only appropriate for a hernia repair. You need your entire fascia repaired. Weight loss will certainly help, but it won't resolve the problem. Surgical repair is your only option. Suturing muscles is not enough nor appropriate for this type of damage. Mesh is required to properly support the damaged lining. Infection is possible, but not any higher than with TT alone.  Best wishes, Dr. H 

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Protruding Stomach

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IF your stomach protrusion is caused by true diastasis of the rectus muscles, the correction usually does not require mesh.  If you have a hernia present, mesh may be required.  If you are overweight and have a lot of intraabdominal fat around your intestines that is causing your protrusion, weight loss is the best option.  You should probably see several plastic surgeons to get a consensus opinion before proceeding.

Usually mesh is not needed - lose weight, have abdominoplasty

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I have not seen your photos.  If your tummy protrudes like a full-term pregnancy, you probably do need to lose weight before having surgery.  There is not a good laparascopic alternative.  You are likely to be best treated with an abdominoplasty by an experienced plastic surgeon.  The muscles are sutured together in the midline, helping to correct the protuberance.

Usually mesh is not needed and this does help avoid some complications related to mesh.  But I suspect you will need to lose weight first.  You can have a look at other patients on my website to see if any resemble your condition.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 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.