Diastasis Recti Repair Surgery
Diastasis recti refers to separation of the abdominal muscles. Diastasis originates from the Greek language, meaning to separate, and recti refers to multiple straight muscles, like in the abdomen. Diastasis recti is a common issue in women after pregnancy, resulting in separated abdominal muscles that are stretched and loose. One of the only ways to restore a flat abdomen for those with diastasis recti is plastic surgery. Dr. John Anastasatos at Los Angeles Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills offers diastasis recti repair surgery to restore a tighter, flatter stomach.
Symptoms of Diastasis Recti
Diastasis recti occurs when the abdomen band of muscles separate. Pressure or stretching of the muscles can cause the left and right side to separate. The result is that the muscles no longer create a smooth, taut lower abdomen. A “pooch” appears under the belly button where the loosened or separated abdomen wall pushes slightly outward. Other symptoms of diastasis recti include:
- Lower back pain
- Urinary incontinence
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Reduced support for internal muscles
- Laxity in the skin and abdominal tissue (pooch)
No number of planks or abdomen exercises will flatten a severe case of diastasis recti. Only plastic surgery in the form of a tummy tuck, or diastasis recti repair surgery, can help. During the surgery, the abdominal muscles are pulled together and sutured to recreate side-by-side abdomen muscles. This reduces the “pooch” and restores firmness to the lower abdomen once the muscles heal. During the repair, other stomach issues can be corrected and tightened, including liposuction to remove excess fat, and surgical removal and tightening of the abdomen skin.
Causes of Diastasis Recti
By far, the most common cause of diastasis recti is pregnancy. Most women have some degree of abdominal wall separation during pregnancy due to the pressure applied to the muscles as the uterus expands. Women who have twins or multiple births are more likely to experience diastasis recti. The extent of muscle separation from pregnancy depends on many factors, including weight gain, number of pregnancies, genetics and fitness prior to pregnancy.
Pregnant women are not the only ones to suffer from a lower ab pooch from diastasis recti. Men, women and even children can have diastasis recti. Genetics can cause this condition in children. Other lifestyle factors include extreme weight gain, weightlifting injuries and medical conditions.
Tummy Tuck for Diastasis Recti
Abdominoplasty or the “tummy tuck” is the best option for repairing diastasis recti or separated abdomen muscles. Dr. Anastasatos offers many versions of abdominoplasty that address other concerns that often accompany diastasis recti, including excess fat deposits, sagging skin and the laxity of the abdomen skin and muscles. For minimal damage to the abdomen muscles without skin stretching or looseness, an endoscopic procedure can be used for diastasis recti repair with little to no scarring. Other options can include lipo-abdominoplasty and the “Mommy Makeover.”
The majority of patients who are interested in diastasis recti repair surgery are women who may also want to address other areas affected by pregnancy. The “Mommy Makeover” surgery can flatten the diastasis recti “pooch” with a tummy tuck as well as lift the breasts, rejuvenate the vaginal area and other trouble spots. While the “Mommy Makeover” can provide a diastasis recti repair, if the patient becomes pregnant again, diastasis recti can reoccur.
If you have a diastasis recti abdomen pooch or other symptoms and want to restore a flat, firm stomach, contact us at Los Angeles Plastic Surgery today to schedule your consultation with our experienced, board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. John Anastasatos. We offer diastasis recti repair surgery with abdominoplasty at our clinic in Beverly Hills.