Help with Severe Rectus Diastasis? (photo)

I am 37 years old. After being pregnant twice with extremely large babies i developed severe rectus diastasis. My second baby was born 7 months ago but i still look like i am about to give birth. I lost most of the pregnancy weight. Under normal circumstances i am 125 lb and now i am 134 lb. So far i haven't found the doctor that has experience with my condition. I would love any help and recommendations. Thank you

Doctor Answers 8

Repair of extensive diastasis recti via an abdominoplasty

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Your condition is not that uncommon.  In general you have a greatly overstretched anterior abdominal wall with a ventral hernia caused by this stretching.  The midline will be very thin and in some cases you can even see the small intestines through this layer.  Care has to be used to avoid injury to the intestines but a standard plication of the rectus fascia will correct the problem.  If the fascia is very thin laterally and the closure is less than secure a mesh or the use of an acellular dermal matrix such as Alloderm can be an alternative.  

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Severe Rectus Diastasis and Tummy Tuck

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Dear lb1337,  Thank you for your photos.  The first step is a consultation and a very detailed examination with a board certified plastic surgeon.  The examination will help  determine how much of your abdominal laxity is being caused by the rectus diastasis versus how much, if any is being caused by the hernia.  If the hernia is too large, you may also need a general surgical consultation.  Both the hernia repair and the tummy tuck can be performed at the same time with an experienced team effort.  If an abdominal wall hernia is present, part of your surgical costs may be covered by your insurance carrier.  In our practice, we work with general surgical team and have had very good results with similar problems.  Again, your first step is a consultation with a plastic surgeon.  Don't give up hope, this can be made so much better.

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Rectus Troubles and tummy tuck

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Your pictures are very impressive.  A thorough exam is warranted to determine if there are hernias and to to assess the severity of the rectus diastasis.  This should be done by a board certified plastic surgeon that has general surgery experience. Or you might need to also involve a general surgeon.  I have a similar patient that had to wear an abdominal binder prior to surgery because her abdominal wall was so weak.  But by repairing the rectus, it improved her abdominal strength and she looked fantastic with the tummy tuck.  Best to you.

Protruding Abdomen

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I agree with Dr. Blinski that you should consult a general surgeon who specializes in hernia repairs in addition to a plastic surgeon. Especially on the side view, your abdomen protrudes significantly. You may require more than simple tightening of the abdominal muscles as we commonly do during a tummy tuck. The general surgeon may also identify abdominal wall defects that could potentially be repaired using your medical insurance, in combination with a tummy tuck to tighten the skin. You may require insertion of mesh to reinforce the abdominal wall and flatten it. Best Wishes and Good Luck!

Andres Taleisnik, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Help with Severe Rectus Diastasis?

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Thanks for your posted photos. Best to se a surgery team of plastic and general surgeons to help correct your severe diastasis 

Severe diastasis (weak abdominal wall)

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A traditional tummy tuck with aggressive abdominal wall plication (tightening) should address your condition. You appear to have loose skin and possibly a small umbilical hernia (belly button) in addition to the several rectus diastasis. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon for a complete evaluation. If you have a larger hernia, this procedure can be done with a general surgeon in the event that you need mesh to reinforce your abdominal wall.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 412 reviews

Rectus Diastasis Correction with Tummy Tuck

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Babies are beautiful, but they do take a toll on your body.  First and most important, full examination by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is necessary to differentiate diastasis from abdominal hernia.  Diastasis Repair requires different surgical technique than Hernia Repair. These repairs are combined with a Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty to remove excess skin and fat.  Although I am a fully trained General Surgeon and a Plastic Surgeon, for insurance coverage purposes, I will work with a General Surgeon for the hernia repair.  The results are life changing and energizing!  Best Wishes, Yongsook Victoria Suh, MD

Abdominoplasty can correct severe diastasis of the abdominal wall.

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Part of an abdominoplasty is to correct laxity of the abdominal wall after pregnancy. Even severe diastasis can be corrected at the time of the procedure.

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.