Is it recommended to have diastasis repair during c-section or wait until after birth to see if your body will recover?

I'm 38 wks pregnant w/ 2nd child & been experiencing pain from diastasis recti at top of my bump. My OB said she can repair bottom half during c-section, but everything I've read says to wait until afterwards. I'm naturally slim (110lbs, 5'6", aged 32) & put on 40lbs this pregnancy. My last pregnancy was c-section & my stomach returned to almost flat, but had no diastasis issue. Will repairing the diastasis during c-section leave me with a warped abdomen, saggy skin & longer recovery period?

Doctor Answers 14

Wait until back to pre-pregnancy weight

I think ideally it would be best to wait until you are back to pre-pregnancy weight prior to proceeding forward with any kind of definitive repair and/or tummy tuck. This will help to ensure you achieve the best possible result. Make sure that your physician is board-certified in plastic surgery. Thank you for your question.


Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

C-section and diastasis repair

this is not a good idea to try and correct a distasis simultaneous to a c-section. Your body would have high circulation levels of hormones that would facilitate further relaxation for an acute repair. Better to recover and revisit this issue 9-12 months post partum to get the most predictable and best result most of the time.

Robert Oliver Jr., MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

Wait

Enjoy your baby and wait until you lose the weight and  your body recovers from the pregnancy and delivery. Then if you desire see a board certified plastic surgeon and discuss what needs to be done.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Diastasis repair

Wait until you have reovered from your C-section.  Consult a board certified well qualified plastic surgeon.  Members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery are such surgeons; a list of such surgeons in your area can be found on their website - surgery.org.

Michael B. Tantillo, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Wait Until you Recover

There are way too many things going on with your body around the time you give birth.  Allow yourself to recover before you make any decisions regarding the need for surgery.  Also, breast feeding, besides being incredibly advantageous to your baby and yourself, will help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight and even tighten your abdominal wall.  You may be surprised to find you don't need any surgery at all just like after your first pregnancy!  Good luck with the Baby!

Eric Sadeh, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Rectus repair during c-section

I just watched my wife have a C-section 3 weeks ago. A traditional C-section does not provide very much exposure to the rectus muscles. The amount of exposure needed to properly repair the rectus diastasis is quite significant and just doesn't seem appropriate at the time of a C-section. If you have a significant diastasis, repairing a small section below the umbilicus will only put you at higher risk for a more problematic issue of weakness above the umbilicus. I would concentrate on enjoying your new little one and consider having a tummy tuck with formal complete rectus repair after you are done making your family. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Wait until after you have recovered from pregnancy before diastases repair

Thank you for your question.  I agree with others that you should allow yourself time to recover from your pregnancy before considering diastases repair.  Only a limited repair could be done during a C-section and repairing lax muscles could diminish the result.

Wait to do diastasis repair

Hi,  Congratulations on your 2nd pregnancy.  It is best to be done with your family before undertaking a repair of the muscle.  Have you decided that you are not having any more children?  That being said, the muscle and skin will tighten after you give birth, so it is best to wait and see what happens naturally.  Finally, the repair of the lower muscle that your OB is offering to do  may leave you with an uneven abdomen with tighter muscles below and looser muscles above which may result in the" warped abdomen and sagging skin " you mention above.  It is best to wait and seek the advice of a board certified plastic surgeon   after you give birth.  Good Luck,  Dr Bev

Beverly Friedlander, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

It's best to wait.

I know it may seem like a nice way to do things--deliver baby and correct the problems that your body developed from the two pregnancies.  First, correcting only the lower aspect may only magnify the problem above the belly button.  Also, if you have a significant rectus diastasis, the chances of you having loose skin and fat in the lower abdomen and around the belly button is higher this time.  This would not be addressed by your OB.  

It would be best to wait and see how your body rebounds after the pregnancy.  Avoid exercises that would make your diastasis worse, such as sit ups and belly crunches.  Strengthen your transverse abdominis and abdominal oblique muscles and see what happens.  There are exercises for this.  Google 'Tupler technique exercises'.  If you still have a rectus diastasis and loose skin and fat, then consider an abdominoplasty.  Good luck!

Wait to heal form your c-section and then have a tummy tuck

I recommend against having your OB tighten the lower muscles during your c-section. The muscle needs to be tightened the entire length and doing only the bottom will make the top appear even worse. Also, no disrespect to your OB, but this is beyond their scope of practice and the muscle needs to be repaired precisely and in a specific manner. Improper repair can cause problems for you later when your board certified plastic surgeon does your tummy tuck.

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.