Should umbilical hernia & diastasis recti repair be done at the same time if I might have another child? (Photos)

I have a one year old and have slight diastasis recti- about 2 fingers width the best I can tell. I also have a VERY noticeable umbilical hernia. I have tried to wait out getting my belly button fixed but I'm not sure if/when I might have another baby and have decided to get hernia fixed in the next few months by a general surgeon. My questions are: should I get my diastasis recti fixed at the same time? Is it a mistake to fix my diastasis recti now if I might be having another baby someday? Thank you!!

Doctor Answers 7

Now or later?

Thank you for the question. An umbilical hernia and disastasis of the rectus can both be addressed at the time of a tummy tuck. Timing is then the issue. A diastase of the rectus is harmless. An umbilical hernia can get stuck and cause pain and can require urgent repair. Oddly enough, the larger the umbilical hernia, the less likely it is to get stuck and cause problems. Yours is a typical situation for women after pregnancy. We typically recommend waiting on any body contouring procedures until after you have completed your family. That way you get the most bang for your buck. Best Wishes,Dr. Morrissey

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Fixing an umbillical hernia and diastasis

Thank you for your question.  Since you are planning on getting pregnant again I don't think that it would be wise to have the diastasis repaired before then.  It makes sense to have a general surgeon repair your umbilical hernia but it would make sense to inform him or her that you are planning on an additional pregnancy and after that an abdominoplasty, which will include repair of your diastasis.  The incision for the hernia repair should be fairly small, and although it doesn't look like you have a lot of excess abdominal skin now, the scar might be removed as part of an eventual tummy tuck.  Your general surgeon might even have a relationship with a board certified plastic surgeon that could be recommended to you so that all of your care over the next few years might be coordinated.

Isaac Starker, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Get your umbilical hernia fixed now

and then consider having your diastasis repaired with a tummy tuck when you are done having children.  If your belly button is not a nice one, consider giving it up and having a reconstruction of a dimple later when you have your tummy tuck.  It makes the diastasis repair easier and your tummy tuck a little safer.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Umbilical hernia and diastasis repair.

Most surgeons will recommend waiting to have your diastasis repaired until you are sure you are done having children.  No use going through that procedure if a pregnancy is likely to undo the repair.  Your belly button hernia can be repaired at anytime but it might also come back during pregnancy.  Those darn children ;)

H. Daniel Zegzula, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Should umbilical hernia & diastasis recti repair be done at the same time if I might have another child?

Thank you for the question. I would wait to have diastasis recti fixed. If you're planning to have children, another pregnancy would restretch her abdomen and stretch the repair. You may desire a revision the future.
It's reasonable to have your umbilical hernia fixed at any time.

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Best to delay abdominal wall repairs until after kids

I don't recommend having umbilical hernias repaired until after you're done with all pregnancies. Otherwise, there is a small risk that it may recur or cause pain during your pregnancy. The only exception is if you have a lot of pain from the hernia. 

Besides, the best repair is one which includes the diastasis repair. 

My specialty is hernias, so I'm very particular about timing of them to make sure you have the best outcome 

Shirin Towfigh, MD
Beverly Hills General Surgeon

Should umbilical hernia & diastasis recti repair be done at the same time if I might have another child?

You should not get your diastasis fixed.  First of all you should be certain that you are not going to have more children, as if you do, then the repair will be undone.  Secondly the hernia repair will be done through a very small incision around the belly button and the diastasis repair cannot be done through that incision and a general surgeon would not be comfortable correcting the diastasis in any event.  So wait on the tummy tuck until all the family members have arrived! 

William A. Terranova, MD
Charleston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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.