Despite their best efforts, many women are not able to reduce a post-pregnancy pooch with diet and exercise alone. That’s because new moms often experience a condition called diastasis recti that results in a protruding abdomen that may require surgery.
So, will you need an abdominoplasty to repair your diastasis recti? Here’s what you need to know before considering surgery and what to expect should you decide to under the procedure.
What Is Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis recti is a separation of the rectus abdominis muscles that commonly occurs with pregnancy. It often presents with a decrease in core strength, a protruding belly or pooch that’s resistant to diet and exercise, and lower back pain.
The severity of diastasis recti can vary from patient to patient, and there are certain factors, such as carrying a large baby or multiples, that can make women more susceptible to the condition.
When Should You Consider Surgery?
For many patients, diastasis recti poses cosmetic and functional issues that can improve over time.
In order to accelerate this healing, women can first attempt exercises that pull the belly in a keep the core tightened. These may include abdominal compressions, pelvic tilts, toe taps, heel slides, and single leg stretches.
Alternatively, Emsculpt is an FDA-approved treatment that can eliminate subcutaneous fat and strengthen and define abdominal muscles to improve diastasis recti.
It is completely non-invasive and works through an innovative high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) technology that simultaneously destroys adipose tissue and increases muscle mass.
However, if a patient has tried these two methods and is still bothered by diastasis recti, it’s time to consider surgery – often referred to as a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty.
What to Expect From Surgery for Diastasis Recti?
In order to be a candidate for diastasis recti surgery, a patient must have separation of abdominal muscles that is greater than two finger widths.
There are various surgical approaches that can be taken to repair diastasis recti, which typically depend on the patient’s anatomy, degree of separation, concerns, and goals.
For example, mild cases that only involve muscles and not loose skin can often be corrected through an endoscopic abdominoplasty. This procedure allows for tightening of muscles without extensive incisions.
However, a full tummy tuck may be more appropriate if a woman wishes to address diastasis recti along with loose and/or excess skin. Not only does this technique require a longer incision and associated scarring, but it also involves relocation of the belly button.
For additional information about diastasis recti surgery, please call our office today to schedule a consultation.