What can I expect for a tummy tuck for diastasis recti repair only, not needing any fat or skin removed on the outside?

I am 5' 7" and 125 lbs. I don't have extra skin or fat that needs to be removed. But I look 5 months pregnant because of my Diastasis. I actually got my abs back to their proper position with the MUTU workout system, but the connective tissue will not return to normal; it is stretched and loose. Since I only need the connective tissue repaired, what can I expect for a tummy tuck in terms of price, recovery time, and location/length of incision? Is it a smaller surgery than a normal tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers 11

Muscle only tummy tuck

Following pregnancy a woman can experience laxity of the abdominal muscles that are stretched and may be difficult or impossible to correct these with exercise. When divided or separated in the middle, this is called a diastasis but may appear as a hernia. These will be fixed at the time of the #tummytuck. The healing is similar  to a standard tuck because of the muscle surgery. The skin incision however should be shorter

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Rectus Diastasis Repair Only

In general rectus diastasis without some degree of skin laxity is unusual. An exam would be necessary to determine if this is indeed the case. The rectus diastasis repair is what requires the longest activity restrictions after surgery, generally about six weeks. The skin incisions heal faster. Please consult with an experienced plastic surgeon who is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery to come up with the proper surgical plan to help you get your body back.

David S. Motoki, MD
Draper Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews


The for a question.  You could expect a slightly faster recovery with diastases appear as compared to abdominoplasty, however you would still have the same restrictions on lifting and doing core exercises for the first several weeks after the procedure.  It is often recommended that strenuous core exercises or bowel exercises should not be performed during the first 6 weeks to 3 months after abdominal wall plication or hernia repair. From your description while U do not sound as though you would need a full abdominoplasty, after plicating your fascia and bringing her muscles medially you may have lower abdominal skin excess that might require at least a mini abdominoplasty procedure to give you a better abdominal contour.

Wesley G. Schooler, MD
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

What can I expect for a tummy tuck for diastasis recti repair only, not needing any fat or skin removed on the outside

I think the fees should be less than a tummy tuck as there will be less time closing the incision. as to recovery time, it will still involve a couple of weeks with little activity and likely no full activity in terms of strenuous working out for 4-6 weeks.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

You can expect the recovery of a tummy tuck.

Based the information that you provided, you can most likely expect to experience the same recovery as anyone would from a "standard" abdominoplasty. This is assuming that you are not having an endoscopic muscle repair.  For most, you can expect 2 weeks off work, then only light duty until 4-6 weeks postoperatively.  No lifting >5lbs during that entire time. 

If no skin is excised, then you will most likely NOT undergo the bent over position that patients will encounter if having excess removed.

Nonetheless, there will be restrictions in lifting, almost certainly the need for drains, and a modest amount of discomfort.

As always, the best person to answer this question will be your board certified plastic surgeon who can detail precisely what it is that he or she will want you to do after surgery.

Diastasis recti repair only

Even if you only need diastasis recti repair, you still will have lower abdominal scar and belly button scar in order to repair the length of your rectus muscle. You will likely have drains as well.  Your surgery may take 1.5 hour to 2.5 hour.  The cost of surgery will vary on your surgeon, OR fee, and anesthesia fee.  Please consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to see whether you are a candidate for diastasis recti repair only.  Good luck.

Diastasis repair

If you really dont have extra skin, then a Tummy tuck will not be possible. you can go for a Diastasis repair surgery through the incision of a mini tummy tuck and umbilical float. this Is not a simple procedure and cost you almost the same as a tummy tuck. If you have you abs back to close to a normal position the diastasis repair can be performed in this technique. 

Prices varies from Surgeon and location, in DR the total price (surgeon's fees, anesthesia fees and facility fees) for this surgery will be around 3500.00 USD, even less depending on how big the surgery needs to be. when performed by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. I would recommend you first to decide where you want to have your surgery done, and then pick a few Surgeons and consult until you find someone you feel you can trust. make sure to choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who perform his surgeries in an accredited facility

Recovery time will be the same as in a tummy tuck. 2 weeks out of work and 1.5 months without lifting weight or doing exercise. Lenght of the incision should be as in a mini tummy tuck, usually 6 to 8 inches .

Find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and discuss what will be the proper treatment to achieve the result you desires.


Dr. Luis Redondo

Luis Eduardo Redondo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Diastasis repair leads to skin removal

If you have a large diastasis, its repair will substantially flatten your stomach and the tummy skin may or may not be able to tighten up without some skin removal. Your surgeon should be able to anticipate both possibilities and give you his/her plan for your surgery.

Sheldon Lincenberg, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Possible answers

I say possible because a lot of your question are specific to the doctor you choose to I'd encourage you to ask him/her rather than relying on the answers you see on line.

Yes, your incision should be smaller though you will likely still have drains. The incision will be in the same place(s) - along your lower abdomen and around your belly button. The recovery will be a little shorter but, in all honesty, the part you are having done is the part that hurts the most so in that way I'd expect you to recover much like a tummy tuck. Cost is so regionally specific. There is less time spent with your procedure so one would expect it to cost less but, you should get several quotes before selecting your doc. Good luck

Robert Frank, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

What can I expect for a tummy tuck for diastasis recti repair only, not needing any fat or skin removed on the outside

Thank you for your question, and congratulations on getting back in shape!.  It is possible to only repair the connective tissue causing the diastasis but the procedure would be similar as in a full tummy tuck repair.  Because the diastasis often extends from just under the breast bone down to your lower abdomen/pelvis, exposure to repair the full length would require a similar incision length.  Because not all of the tissues need to be tightened, your surgery is a bit smaller, and recovery would likely be a bit faster.  I would definitely recommend you see a board-certified plastic surgeon as without photographs, or an in-person examination it is difficult to make the best recommendations.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 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.