Almost two-thirds of women suffer from diastasis recti (abdominal separation) during and following pregnancy. Women with diastasis recti can undergo tummy tuck surgery to correct it. A tummy tuck tightens the stomach muscles and removes excess abdominal fat and skin to improve the contour and tone of the abdomen.
An Explanation of Diastasis Recti
Diastasis recti means “separation of the rectus abdominis.” Essentially, the space between the left and right abdominal muscles widens to form a gap, causing a stomach pooch. This occurs because pregnancy places intense pressure on the abdominal muscles. For many women, the abdominal muscles cannot retain their shape due to the pressure, and they begin to separate. Diastasis recti is more likely to occur in women who are pregnant over age 35, are pregnant with multiples, or have more than one pregnancy, especially if the children are close in age.
How Diastasis Recti Can Affect You and Your Appearance
Diastasis recti during pregnancy leads to decreased muscle support, which may make a vaginal delivery more difficult. This condition may also cause constipation, a leaky bladder, lower back pain, and difficulty moving and breathing normally. While the muscle opening may shrink after giving birth, it never returns to normal for many women. Exercise may help to tone the abdominal muscles, but it can offer little in the way of correction of diastasis recti. In fact, some exercises that may seem beneficial, such as crunches, planks, or push-ups, can worsen the condition. Due to the separation between the stomach muscles, the stomach pooch may never fully go away. Some women with diastasis recti may look pregnant when they are not. Others may look pregnant after eating a big meal. Without correction, diastasis recti can leave your abdomen with a permanent pooch.
A Tummy Tuck Can Correct Diastasis Recti
The best way to fully and completely correct diastasis recti is to undergo abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery). During a tummy tuck, the surgeon will tighten the abdominal muscles and pull them back to together as they should be. By doing so, the surgeon will erase the gap that formed and improve the tone of your abdomen. Additional benefits of a tummy tuck are the removal of excess abdominal skin, stretch marks, and fat after pregnancy. Tummy tuck surgery restores a more fit and toned abdomen and can completely resolve diastasis recti.
Our experienced plastic surgeons at Southwest Plastic Surgery have performed many successful tummy tuck procedures to correct diastasis recti. To schedule your consultation and find out more about how you could benefit from a tummy tuck, call our El Paso, TX office at (915) 590-7900 or fill out our online contact form.