I Want to Repair my Separated Abdominal Muscles and Umbilical Hernia, but No Scar?

Umbilical Hernia and Separated Abd Muscles (due to strong lower back pain) after LAST c-section, but not having excess of or loosen skin. I am on my ideal weight. I don't have stretch marks, good and tonified skin. However, I have lost all my strength when doing abs. Could this procedure be done with no scar through the belly bottom? Do you suggest it in my case? Would I be able to train again? As I am doing this due to pain and decrease of performance, would health insurance cover the cost?

Doctor Answers 5

A technique called endoscopic-assisted tummy tuck might be an option.

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Thank you for your question.

It is hard to say without photos, but there is a technique called endoscopic-assisted tummy tuck which leaves a scar around the belly button and a mini-tummy tuck scar a little longer than a C-section scar. You may or may not be a candidate.

To be sure, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.  I hope this helps.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Repair of Rectus Diastasis without Umbilical Scar

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I would have to evaluate your photos to determine if your repair could be done safely without an umbilical scar.   

I think you can expect significant improvement in your abdominal contour and even core strength over time with this repair.  You would definitely be able to resume training after 4-6 weeks.


I wish you a safe and healthy recovery. 


Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Reapir of umbilical hernia is covered by insurance

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So long as your hernia is documented with a scan, an insurance company will pay for repair; however, the separated muscles, which is called a diastasis rectus, is not covered by insurance. There is no such thing as surgery of this kind without a scar; scarring can be minimized. A scar in the umbilicus is still a scar.

This is unrealistic unfortunately

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Repairing separated muscles and the hernia will likely leave you with an undesirable result.  I see lots of ladies who go get their hernia fixed when in fact they do not like the overall barrel-like stretched out shape of their abdomen.  They come in for abdominoplasty consultation after they have already had their hernia repaired by a general surgeon through an umbilical incision and are upset with the result.  Often they do not appear to have loose skin because the skin is tight on top of the stretched muscles and once muscles are pulled back to position all of a sudden the relative amount of loose skin shows.  While you may be in the small percentage of ladies who do not need any loose skin removed and could have this done, it would be rare.  I would suggest speaking to several board certified plastic surgeons and getting in-person consultations so you can understand what is going on with your abdomen.  Health insurance will likely cover the hernia itself if you have hernia symptoms but is unlikely to cover the muscle repair.  Check with your insurance company but most insurance companies consider this cosmetic.  Good luck!

Evan Sorokin, MD
Cherry Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

I Want to Repair my Separated Abdominal Muscles and Umbilical Hernia, but No Scar?

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As far as health insurance goes, the hernia is likely to be covered, the muscle separation not likely. The muscle separation (diastasis rectus) is widely considered to be a cosmetic, and not a medical problem. There is no evidence that this diagnosis is related to any symptoms. 

There are surgeons who can do this procedure with minimum scarring using an laparoscope. Often they are general surgeons. 

Depending upon how separated the muscles are, you may find that suturing them together can result in buckling of the skin, and that is why a tummy tuck is often done with a diastasis repair. 

It you consider a repair, recall that you already have an incision from the c-section. You may find that you will have more options if you are willing to have this incision re-opened for the diastasis and hernia surgery.

Thanks for your question. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.