How to Fix Protrusion Left After Umbilical Hernia Repair?

I am 9 mos postpartum (twins). This was my second pregnancy. They were big (7 lbs) and carried to term. Amazingly, I have not a single stretch mark and only a very, very small (maybe 1/4 inch) of extra skin only visible if I bend over and near the c section scar.

I had an umbilical hernia repaired, and my OB says she put a small diastasis recti back together during the c section. But I still have this protrusion that makes me look about 5 mos pregnant. What the heck is going on and how can I fix it?

I don't want a tummy tuck. Can the diastasis recti be repaired without one, i.e. no scary hip to hip scar?

Doctor Answers 12

Post Partum Belly

Repeated stretching of the abdominal wall especially with a large twin pregnancy can cause the rectus muscles to become very thin. Thin to the point that they become over stretched and don't return to their prepregnancy resting state. Instead they have found a new resting state. I have seen this and although surgery can fix it you may not need it.

Strengthening the rectus muscles and getting them to shorten and return to their prepregnancy state is the key. So start with crunches, leg lifts etc and work those abs hard for 6 months. I doubt you'll need surgery then.

Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

You may be a candidate for a mini-tummy tuck

During the C-section the only area of the rectus muscle that the OB could have seen was around the C-section incision. He/she might have thightened that area a little bit but it sound like the rest of the rectus muscle still has a diastasis. If the problem is only minited to the muscle you could undergo a much more limited incision mini-tummy tuck to only expose the cetral area of the rectus muscle. Without needing much skin tightening the length of the incision can be much shorter than a standard tummy tuck and similar location to your existing C-section scar.

By the way, congratulations on your twins. Mine are boy-girl twins and are almost 5 years old!

Robert B. Pollack, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Check yourself for a diastasis (muscle separation) after pregancy especially multiples.

SEE VIDEO FOR SAMPLE OF Diastasis repair.

My guess is that you have a persistent uncorrected diastasis. This is quite easy to diagnose. Have a doctor perform this. You can find your own diastasis by laying down flat. Without using your hands try to lift your head and back upwards (like a partial situp). Feel just above your belly button vertically up to your "solar plexus" or breast bone. There should be a little valley that is not wider than a finger. IF the area bulges outwards or has a vertical valley that measures more than two fingers wide, then you have a distasis. This can be repaired with or without a tummy tuck.