Diastasis Recti Repair Surgery
Diastasis recti is a condition that results when the muscles in the center of the abdomen separate. The most common reason for this condition is pregnancy, especially if you experienced a high birth weight delivery, or if you have had multiple pregnancies. Diastasis recti causes the stomach to protrude since the surrounding muscles can no longer support the bowel and uterus. The protrusion can cause constipation, back pain and even a hernia. Diastasis recti repair surgery corrects this damage and restores your tummy to a flatter, more appealing shape.
Problems Associated With Diastasis Recti
If you suffer from diastasis recti, you may experience painful abdominal symptoms such as bloating and constipation. Since the abdominal wall is not strong enough to support the internal organs, the intestines will not function as efficiently as they should, which results in abdominal pain and discomfort. The condition can also cause pelvic floor dysfunction, leading to an increased urgency to urinate, or even possible urine leakage. You may also experience lower back pain, pain in the pelvic region, discomfort during sexual intercourse, pressure in the pelvic region or rectum or muscle spasms in the pelvis due to a weakened pelvic floor. In extreme cases, diastasis recti can lead to a hernia, where the tissue may tear, and organs poke out of the opening.
Benefits of Diastasis Recti Repair
Besides restoring your tummy to a flatter shape, diastasis recti repair can help alleviate painful symptoms and help restore your quality of life. If you do not see improvement in your appearance with exercise, or if you are experiencing more severe symptoms, surgery may be the answer. Diastasis recti repair has many benefits, including:
- Improved posture
- Reduced stress urinary incontinence
- Alleviation in the severity of abdominal pain
- Reduction in lower back pain
- Less constipation
- Stronger pelvic floor
- Flatter, more pleasing stomach appearance
Diastasis Recti Repair Procedure
Diastasis recti repair requires general anesthesia. The surgeon will carefully create an incision in the area between the pubic hairline and the belly button. The skin, tissue and muscle will be contoured. The upper abdominal skin is pulled down, and excess skin is trimmed, then the remaining skin is sutured together. A new opening for a belly button will be created as well. The incision site will be stitched and bandaged.
Diastasis Recti Repair Recovery
Recovery from diastasis recti repair depends on several factors. Your age, general health, type of surgery and post-surgery care will play vital roles in your recovery time. As a general rule, the following process occurs:
- Immediately after surgery, your incision will be covered with a surgical dressing. There may be tubes attached to aid in any draining of fluids.
- When you arrive home, you will have limited mobility for the first few days. You will not be able to drive, so choose a support system to aid you in this part of the process.
- Dr. Spence will instruct you on how to clean and care for your incision correctly. You will be guided on how to care for drainage tubes and how to look for signs of infection around the incision site. You will be fitted with a support garment that will help with swelling and discomfort.
- You should be able to resume small duties such as driving, cooking or shopping within a week or two, but no heavy lifting will be advised for several weeks.
- You may notice numbness or a pulling sensation for a few months after surgery. This is normal and will fade over time.
Deciding on whether diastasis recti repair is right for you can be daunting. Dr. Spence and Dr. Ovalle and the team at Hillcrest Plastic Surgery is here to help answer any questions you have. We our here to calm your fears, and show you the perfect treatment options to give you the results you want. Contact our Orlando office today.