What Is Diastasis Recti? Can a Tummy Tuck Solve It?

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Woman showing off the results achievable through a tummy tuck

People turn to tummy tuck surgery to tone and contour their midsections by tightening loose skin and removing excess fat. However, many of these people aren’t aware that their permanent “belly pooch” could actually be a sign of something more: diastasis recti. At my cosmetic plastic surgery practice, women and men come from Modesto, Pleasanton, and Livermore, CA, to enjoy more defined waistlines and firmer, flatter midsections with diastasis recti repair.

In this blog post, I will answer a few commonly asked questions about this condition and explain how a tummy tuck addresses it with long-lasting results.

What is diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti is a separation of the left and right rectus abdominis muscles. This happens when the muscles become excessively stretched, and it is most common as a result of pregnancy. As the muscles separate, they create a bulge in the midsection, weakening the abdomen’s taut, contoured appearance.

In addition to cosmetic concerns, this condition may also cause functional issues, such as back discomfort, difficulty working out, or decreased abdominal strength.

What are common diastasis recti treatment options?

In some cases, diastasis recti resolves itself naturally after childbirth, which can take upward of a year. The muscles may never fully return to their original position, especially for women who have had multiple children. Some people find that yoga and physical therapy during this time help restore their core strength and reduce the separation between the muscles.

Ultimately, the most effective correction for diastasis recti is typically surgical muscle repair performed as part of a tummy tuck.

How can diastasis recti be fixed with a tummy tuck?

If you and I determine during your consultation that a diastasis recti repair should be included in your tummy tuck, I will perform it by suturing together the separated muscles to tighten them and bring them back together. This procedure reduces visible bulges and creates a more defined, hourglass-shaped waistline. The combination of this repair and the standard skin tightening included in a tummy tuck results in a much slimmer, flatter, and firmer midsection—something many women desire after having children. Learn more about the recovery process after a tummy tuck in this related blog post.

Diastasis recti repair is not always necessary for a successful tummy tuck. Even after pregnancy, many women are able to achieve the results they want without muscle repair, focusing instead on the procedure’s skin tightening and fat reduction results. Your procedure should always be customized to suit your unique anatomy and goals by a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive body contouring surgery experience.

To see examples of the results you can expect from a tummy tuck, both with and without diastasis recti repair, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.

If you would like to learn more about whether a tummy tuck at my Tracy or San Ramon plastic surgery offices is right for you, please contact us online or call (209) 834-0626 (Tracy) or (925) 967-2804 (San Ramon).

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