Age 34, two children. Diastasis recti and a hernia? Can it be repaired without full tummy tuck? (Photo)

During my first pregnancy I was told I had diastasis recti. I had another big baby 10 years later and had the same thing. Since I've been bodybuilding I've built enough muscle & lost enough fat to see the large gap between my abs. Problem now is I believe I have an umbilical hernia. I'm experiencing strange tingling pains around my navel and having a harder time holding my stomach in even though I have a six pack and I have constant gas and bloating. What can I do and would insurance cover it?

Doctor Answers 4

Umbilical hernia repair is covered by insurance

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You should be seen and examined.   Many patients have a rectus diastasis after pregnancy.  It requires and examination to be more helpful.

Repair of diastasis without full tummy tuck.

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It looks to me like you have a 2 or 3 cm gap at the level of the umbilicus and as that layer spreads the ring at your umbilicus can stretch.  Without bowel being caught in a hernia it is difficult to relate any bowel symptoms you may have.  

It is possible to have a kind of tummy tuck with a limited incision above the pubis through which the rectus can be repaired.  Look for surgeons in your area who does this kind of tummy tuck.  

Age 34, two children. Diastasis recti and a hernia? Can it be repaired without full tummy tuck?

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Of course the repair can be done without a Tummytuck, which you certainly do not need. Your diastasis in the photo is minor and unless you have an "outie" belly button you don't have a hernia. Best to get an exam.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Repair Diastasis Without Tummy Tuck?

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It is not possible to be sure without a direct examination if you have an umbilical hernia or not.  Certainly from the photos it would not appear to be very large, if in fact you have one.  Insurance will pay for the repair of the hernia if it exists and if it is symptomatic.  Insurance will not pay for repair of the diastasis under any circumstances.

The traditional way of repairing a diastasis is as part of a tummy tuck.  However in your case there is not a skin redundancy problem.  A diastasis can be repaired endoscopically (through very small incisions), however it is so rarely done that very few have the necessary experience to do it safely.

In Texas, I am sure this procedure is available.  Go to the internet.  Just be sure whomever you select has experience with this particular technique.

William A. Terranova, MD
Charleston Plastic Surgeon

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