Do I need surgery for 4 finger gap in abdominal muscles post pregnancy?

I am 28 yrs old and 125 lb in weight and delivered my first baby 5 months ago. I have the following concerns - 5 months post pregnancy is still look 4 months pregnant 3 to 4 finger gap in abdominal mussels, lots of stretch marks and loose skin I am suffering from lower back pain, hip pain and pubic area pain Do I need a tummy tuck surgery, will it help in resolving all of these issues? What will be the recovery time?

Doctor Answers 11

Abdominoplasty 5 months after birth with 4 finger separation

Hello and thanks for your question

There are a few things to consider here, and I definitely recommend you consult with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon(in USA 'Board Certified Plastic Surgeon' and in Australia 'Plastic Surgeon') when you are ready to seriously look at this.

Firstly, 4 fingers separation will almost definitely make you a candidate for an Abdominoplasty(Tummy-tuck). However, this is your 1st child and it's only been 5 months. So, ideally you'd wait a little longer, and prefer to have your babies finished before undergoing this big surgery. Then again, you have pain in a few areas that may need to be addressed sooner. And it's hard to tell if any of those would be helped by your tummy-tuck.

I believe you need a detailed assessment with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon. He needs to examine you in person- there are many additional factors that he needs to take into account besides what you have told us here. He may need some other tests before being able to come to a realistic decision about what is likely to help you at this stage.

Ideally he will want you to have finished your pregnancies, but all your circumstances need to be taken into account before anyone can give you a comprehensive proposal. Do you still have a lot of excess weight? When are you considering further pregnancies? Is your baby very heavy and contributing to your back pain? Do you need some assistance with lifting practices and your setup at home? Will some physiotherapy help you in that regard? Are you managing to walk and get your body in tone since the birth? Do you think your Primary Care Doctor(GP) should help you with some of these questions first?


Menorita,It sounds like you would benefit from an abdominoplasty.  This could be confirmed with a physical exam.  Your back and pubic pain often improve, but the hip pain is questionable.  If you plan on having more children in the near future, you may want to delay the procedure as well.
Please consult a Plastic Surgeon for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.  Alternately until then, you should see a chiropractor as well.
Hope you feel better.
Dr. T

Douglas Taranow, DO, FACOS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Tummy tuck

You should schedule a visit with a board certified plastic surgeon.  Given your story and measurements, I doubt that the procedure would improve back pain, though I suppose it is possible if your case is particularly severe.  If you are done having children, then you can proceed with the surgery, expecting about 3-4 weeks of recovery.
Best of luck! Dr. Subbio
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Newtown Square/Philadelphia, PA

Christian Subbio, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Tummy tuck

It sounds like you have a wide diastasis. If you plan on having more children, then I would hold off on the tummy tuck if you are even a candidate. Best to be seen in person when you are ready.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Tummy tuck after pregnancy.

Thanks for reaching out.  It does sound like abdominoplasty can address your concerns. The muscle repair can fix the space in your muscles and the skin excision usually gets rid of the stretch marks in your lower abdomen.  It will not necessarily address your back pain or hip pain.  You should see a board certified plastic surgeon for an evaluation.
I hope this helps :)

John Paul Tutela, MD
Livingston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Diastasis after childbirth

The back pain is unlikely to be related to the diastasis and should be evaluated by an orthopedist.   You appear to be a candidate for a tummy tuck with several cautions: 1/the need for childcare during the post op period, 2/the potential need for repeat surgery after you have another child, 3/the question of whether you have lost all the baby weight and/or have stopped breastfeeding.   All of these issues should be discussed with a board certified plastic surgeon who has had a great deal of experience with abdominoplasty.    We aren't simply treating an abdomen, we are treating a patient whose financial, social, and psychological concerns must be taken into account. Best wishes.

Post pregnancy muscle separation (rectus diastasis)

Sounds like you're the perfect candidate for a tummy tuck.  The two main goals of this operation are to remove excess skin of the abdomen and to tighten the abdominal wall.  The best results are with patients who are close to or at their ideal body weight.  I would recommend going in for a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in body contouring surgery.  

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Tummy tuck

Will flatten your tummy muscles and remove excess skin- should improve discomfort, but cannot be guaranteed.An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon is recommended to discuss your options and expectations.

Tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your description, you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck with liposuction.  This can be done through a low and short incision, all completely below the bikini line.  Your muscles can also be plicated resulting in a flat abdomen.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Do I need a tummy tuck for 4 finger gap in abdominal muscles

An examination would be needed to confirm the findings, but if you have that significant of a separation of the muscles, then that could be causing the discomfort in your back, and lower abdomen. It could also be a direct condition of those areas, but that degree of separation is significant. I would recommend you see a board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 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.