Can a diastasis recti hurt your lungs by the muscles pushing upward?

I have diastasis recti for about 10 years now and my conditions makes me look like I have beer belly. By the way I am 61 years old. Some times I feel like the loose muscles are pushing upward and makes it hard to take a breath. what do you think??

Doctor Answers 8

Diastasis recti

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I appreciate your question.
This should not effect your breathing
The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

best of luck!

Dr Schwartz

Tummy Tuck/Diastasis Recti

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Considering your age and unknown origin of your breathing difficulty, I'd suggest that you have a thorough physical exam with your family Doctor and let then know that you are considering this surgery as well. When booking your cosmetic surgery consultation, choose a board certified plastic Surgeon who specialises in Tummy Tucks.

All the best

Can a diastasis recti hurt your lungs?

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Thank you for the question. Diastasis recti is a widening of the fascia that separates the Abdominis recti muscles. This widening should theoretically increase your abdominal volume and so it should not cause increased intraabdominal pressure. The Abdominis recti muscles are not weakened in this situation but they are what is referred to accessory muscles of breathing. You use them to breath when you have increased work of breathing, such as in people with lung disease, after heavy excersise, etc.  Given your history of intermittent shortness of breath, I would advise that you first see a primary physician to insure that you are healthy enough for this procedure and that there are no underlying issues that need to be resolved first. If cleared then I would recommend a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for an in-person examination and a discussion of your goals. I hope this helps. Best wishes.

Diastasis of abdominoplasty muscles

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Breathing mechanics are complex, involving bones, joints, and muscles of the chest and the diaphragm between chest and abdomen.  While it's unlikely that diastasis of midline abdominal muscles has a major direct impact upon relaxed respiratory function, everything is inter-related and your situation should be studied individually.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Diastasis recti and breathing issues.

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Hi... It is unlikely that a diastasis is hurting your breathing. If anything, the diastasis may allow intra-abdominal fats to push out of the abdomen rather than up towards the chest. If you're having breathing difficulties, it is very important that you seek the advice of your medical physician. If you are considering abdominoplasty, it is absolutely critical that you seek the advice of a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of plastic surgery help ensure you have the safest operation.

I wish you the best.

Dr .Gabbay

Joubin Gabbay, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Diastasis recti

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Hi, mannyvivo.  Diastsis recti is separation of rectus muscle.  It does not push upwards and make it hard for you to breath.  If you have difficulty breathing, it may to due to excess intra-abdominal fat or some respiratory issue that you may have. Please vist your primary care physician to be evaluated.  Good luck.

Rectus concerns

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I think that you should discuss the breathing issue with your doctor and get a thorough consultation.  Nearly every women that has had a pregnancy will have some degree of rectus diastasis.  I have never seen breathing issues be associated.

Dr Rodger Shortt
Plastic Surgeon Oakville Ontario
Assistant Clinical Professor &
Director of Cosmetic Surgery Training,
McMaster University

Rodger Shortt, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Can Diastasis Recti Hurt Lungs?

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It would be best to see your primary care physician for an evaluation. A diastasis recti doesn't typically make it difficult to take a breath. In fact, if a patient has a lot of intra-abdominal fat, a repair of the muscles can put so much pressure on the abdomen that the contents push up against the diaphragm, making it difficult for the patient to take a deep breath. 

For more information about the basics of tummy tucks, click on the link below.

All the best.

Heather J. Furnas, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 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.