NHS General Surgeon Refuses to Repair my Diastasis Recti Because It Will Create More Problems for Me Than Its Worth- True?

I have a big gap between my muscles after having children. My abdominal area is weak and i cant carry heavy without feeling pain.I suffer from lower back pain and pain in my pelvis from instability. When I stand my stomach contents falls forwards and creates a lop sided bulge. after eating I'll have another bulge that appears near the top of my abdomen and it pulses and moves. My surgeon said he cant repair me as the tension would create holes in my sides muscles. I need your second opinion.

Doctor Answers 6

Rectus Diastasis

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In general I think general surgeons have a lot of experience with hernias and little to no experience with rectus diastasis and the type of fascial plication done during an abdominoplasty. Getting insurance approval can be difficult for rectus diastasis but in the right patient I have been successful. In my practice you typically would also have some out of pocket costs to cover the cosmetic parts of the abdominoplasty. I would make an appointment to see a plastic surgeon on your insurance plan and them also get a cosmetic quote for an abdominolasty (which will fix your diastasis as part of the normal fascial placation) in case your insurance pre-authorization request is denied. Rarely a diastasis may be more involved and require mesh, but a board certified plastic surgeon should be able to let you know. Good luck!! Dr K

Diastasis Repair

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As others have commented, in general a diastasis repair is very worthwhile as part of an abdominal contouring procedure. It should not create other deformities or defects laterally. However, in your case a full exam is necessary by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to rule out any other pathology such as a significant abdominal hernia, which may require a combined approach with a General Surgeon.

Rectus diastasis

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A plastic surgeon can give you a better idea as to whether rectus diastasis can be repaired in your case.  What your general surgeon is probably telling you is that if you do not have a true hernia, then insurance will not pay for the surgery.  Regardless of your symptoms, most insurance companies do not pay for tummy tucks not matter how you present it to them.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Diastasis Recti Repair - Worth it?

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It is worth it in the vast majority of cases. Repairing a Diastasis Recti deformity should not create holes in your side as you were told by your general surgeon. Patients tend to really appreciate the appearance after the repair and that they have such improved tone afterwards.

Note that this procedure is rarely in my experience covered by insurance despite your description of discomfort, unless of course you have a true hernia.That being said you should go to an expert in this sort of repair which without a doubt would be a board certified plastic surgeon. It is what they do as part of their routine practice. For example it is an essential part of an abdominoplasty, tummy tuck, procedure. Below is a link for the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Find a reputable doctor in your area that is listed and go in for a formal consultation. 

Rectus diastasis need a plastic surgeon to be corrected

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yes it can be corrected  but only for a certified plastic  reconstructive surgeon, not another kind  of surgeon

Ramon Navarro, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

Repair of diastasis recti

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It is very difficult to give accurate advice about your condition without a physical exam. But in most cases, rectus diastasis repair can be completed without concern for weakening the lateral abdominal wall. There are also other options to help stabilize the abdominal wall including mesh reinforcement. My biggest concern for you would be establishing an accurate diagnosis and determining if you simply have a diastasis or if you potentially could have an abdominal wall hernia. This needs to be addressed with a physical exam and possibly an imaging study. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 87 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.