Does the Tupler Technique Really Work to Fix Diastasis Recti (Umbilical Hernia)?

Have diastasis recti (throughout entire abdominal area) after pregnancy. No big issue with loose belly skin or extra ab fat, just gap in abs that makes me look slightly pregnant. Would rather not have tummy tuck or hernia surgery if possible. 1) Do you think the ab exercises and wearing the splint suggested in Tupler Technique could repair diastasis recti without surgery? 2) If so, do you think ab exercises would need to be done forever in order to maintain results? Dont have time to do forever

Doctor Answers 4

Diastasis Recti only repair

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It is certainly possible to have a diastasis recti repair performed without a tummy tuck. Often, this can be performed through an incision within the belly button. The Tupler Technique is a way of strengthening the abdominal wall muscles to improve abdominal tone. However the problem in a true diastasis is a relaxation in the central fascia, an area without any muscle fibers. The Tupler Technique may work well for people with overall abdominal weakness by strengthening the abdominal wall, but I don't see how it would improve a diastasis (despite the marketing claims). Of note, a diastasis repair is not "hernia surgery." A hernia is a physiologically different problem than a diastasis and much more serious.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Diastasis Recti Needs Suture

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Knowing the anatomy of the abdominal wall is essential to understanding diastasis recti.  There are 4 muscles that make up the abdominal wall.  These muscles are connected to the skeleton primarily at the ribs and pelvis.  Muscles have some intrinsic stability but for the most part relay on the tissue that surrounds them, the fascia, in a concerted effort to supply support. Fascia is relatively inelastic. 

Pregnancy stretches all of the component of the abdominal wall, muscle, fascia, fat and skin.  After the pregnancy the skin, fat and muscles all contract well because they are elastic.   The fascia does not.  Core exercises will build strong muscles but the loose fascia can remain.  It is evident not only at the diastasis but often more laterally where the oblique muscles insert on the rectus muscles.  This is why corset sutures are occasionally needed at the time of a tummy tuck.

Keep a strong core but you make need surgical repair, with a large permanent suture, of the diastasis.  An umbilical float tummy tuck may be the best option. 

Non-surgical “tummy tuck” and Diastasis Recti

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  Diastasis Recti typically refers to stretching of the connective tissue layer between the two “six pack” abdominal muscles. The most common cause is pregnancy, or significant weight gain and subsequent weight  loss.  The exercise regimen that you are referring to can improve the tone and length of different abdominal wall muscles (similar to Pilates), but it can not repair the connective tissue layer to any significant extent, and definitely will not correct any umbilical hernia.   In your particular case, some sort of physical conditioning regimen to strengthen and tone all the abdominal wall muscles can significantly improve the appearance of your abdomen.  If you have a true diastasis recti or umbilical hernia that will not be corrected.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Dream on! Exercises wont make your tummy flat.

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All of the exercises in the world will not repair a diastasis recti from child birth.    Only surgical repair will result in a beautiful, flat, hard , youthful , pre baby contour.   And it can all be done in an hour by a board certified plastic surgeon.  

Forget about wasting months trying to move the rectus muscles.  It wont happen.  

A tummy tuck with some liposuction will help you regain your pre baby youthful figure.  


Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 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.