Diastasis Recti Repair

A diastasis recti repair is a plastic surgery procedure to correct abdominal muscle separation along the midline following pregnancy and childbirth.

Diastasis Recti Repair

The Skinny


Average Recovery

7 weeks

Permanence

Temporary

Application

Surgical Procedure

Surgical

Yes

Cost

$5000 - $19000

The Specifics


What is a diastasis recti repair?

A diastasis recti repair is a cosmetic surgery to repair a diastasis recti, which is defined as abdominal muscle separation along the midline of the rectus abdominis muscle post pregnancy.

The Anatomy of the Abdominal Wall

Abdominal Wall Anatomy Illustration

A diastasis repair can also address hernias, especially an umbilical hernia (through the belly button). In most women diastasis recti or the post pregnancy "pooch" spontaneously resolves following childbirth, however, in some women the abdominal muscles will stay separated leading to a loose, sagging abdominal appearance. Women who have undergone a c-section may be more at risk. Diastasis recti can also occur in men typically secondary to poor workout and lifting techniques.

A diastasis recti repair is usually performed in conjunction with an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck to address loose skin, excess skin, and excess fat. For some individuals, physical therapy with a certified physical therapist can assist with diastasis repair.

What cosmetic concerns does a diastasis recti repair procedure treat?

  1. Abdominal Contour: A diastasis recti repair sutures the abdominal muscles back together along the midline to restore the abdominal wall for improved contour and definition.
  2. Mommy Makeover: For women who have abdominal wall separation following pregnancy, a diastasis recti repair can restore appearance and function.

Who is the ideal candidate for a diastasis recti repair procedure?

The ideal candidate for a diastasis recti repair has abdominal separation along the midline that is resistant to an exercise program, physical therapy, and loss of baby weight. A diastasis recti repair is not recommended for those who have not first implemented a diet and exercise routine, or those who are less than one year postpartum.

What is the average recovery associated with a diastasis recti repair procedure?

Most patients experience two to four weeks of acute recovery following a diastasis recti repair, although swelling can persist for up to six weeks and full recovery can take one year. Drains will be removed after two weeks, and a compression garment will be worn for three to four weeks. Most candidates return to work after one to two weeks.

What are the potential side effects of a diastasis recti repair procedure?

Possible side effects of a diastasis recti repair include scarring, unsatisfactory results, bruising, pain, discomfort, and prolonged swelling.

What can someone expect from the results of a diastasis recti repair procedure?

The results of a diastasis recti repair will finalize within three to 12 months, but will be visible immediately after the procedure. The results will be affected by pregnancy and significant weight gain or weight loss.

What is the average cost of a diastasis recti repair procedure?


A diastasis recti repair can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $19,000. The actual cost of a diastasis recti repair is dependent upon location, board certified plastic surgeon, and length and involvement of the plastic surgery.

Pros

repair musclesmore defined stomachmore defined musclesrepair hernia

Cons

only addresses musclesadditional procedure for skin

Invasiveness Score

mildmoderatesevere
1
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5
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7
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10

Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect


Diastasis recti, also known as abdominal separation, describes a condition when the stomach sticks out because the muscles in the abdomen have widened. Here is quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a diastsis recti repair surgery.

The Takeaway


A diastasis recti repair is a plastic surgery most often performed to correct the post pregnancy "pooch" caused by abdominal separation.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Jermaine E Gray, MD, Jason S Mizell, MD, FACS Abdominal Wall Anatomy UpToDate; 2019-06-21
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