Can I Have Surgery to Fix Diastasis Recti?

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How do I treat diastasis recti?

The truth is you’ll need plastic surgery to fix diastasis recti–a cosmetic procedure known as the tummy tuck.

Typically a tummy tuck includes:

  • Diastasis recti repair
  • Liposuction
  • Removal of excess skin

During a tummy tuck, your board-certified plastic surgeon (always go board-certified if you can!) will go in and stitch the muscles back together from the sternum all the way down to the pubic bone. They’ll remove loose, damaged skin, and the plastic surgeons at Amelia Aesthetics will also do liposuction on the front, side, and flanks to contour the body.

To learn more about tummy tucks, watch the full series in the free Bustmob Academy app

Diastasis recti before and after tummy tuck
Diastasis recti before and after tummy tuck

Vocabulary Lesson: Diastasis Recti Edition

Just to make sure we’re on the same page, diastasis recti is the separation of the vertical muscles that go up and down the abdominal wall, also known as the “6-pack abs.” 

The Bustmob Community, a private and supportive space for women to connect and learn about plastic surgery, often refers to it as “DR.”

With pregnancy and fluctuations in weight, your abdominal muscles separate, and sadly, they don't quite make it back to their original position after you’ve had the baby or lost the weight, which can give a wider, rounder appearance. 

Think of it this way: with each pregnancy or weight change, the muscles separate, after the baby is born or you lose weight, the muscles come back together, but not all the way. The more you repeat that process, the larger the gap. 

Bummer, we know…but at least the tummy tuck exists.

Can diastasis recti cause back pain?

Because the muscles have separated and lost strength, diastasis recti can actually cause back pain.

When the muscles are brought back together with a tummy tuck, a lot of that back pain is relieved–often a tummy tuck perk people don’t expect to hear. 

Really a win, win if you ask us!

modern tummy tuck before and after photo
Tummy tuck before and after photo by Dr. Rafi Fredman of Amelia Aesthetics St. Louis

Can you fix diastasis recti without surgery?

A lot of people wonder if they can repair diastasis recti on their own, but unfortunately, surgery is the only way to get those abdominal muscles back to their original state. 

There are certainly coaches, trainers, and workouts that can help strengthen the muscles, especially early postpartum, but you’re not going to get those muscles back together top-to-bottom with exercise alone. 

We hear all the time in the Bustmob Community women frustrated by back pain and the countless sit-ups that yield little-to-no results. 

That’s when we talk about “DR” or diastasis recti repair. 

We get how hopeless and frustrating it is to eat right and stick to a gym routine and not get the results you’re hoping for. We’ve been there too.

But take a little comfort in knowing that no number of sit-ups or planks can bring those muscles completely back together. When you’re doing all the right things, a tummy tuck can be a little boost to help show off all of that hard work!

Another bonus: once your surgeon stitches those abdominal muscles back together, they are together PERMANENTLY (given you do not have another pregnancy or gain a significant amount of weight)–which means you’ll be rocking a nice tight core all the way into the nursing home.

But of course, your surgeon and medical professionals know best.

Doing your research ahead of time is always encouraged and will empower you throughout the whole process. But a one-on-one consultation with your plastic surgeon will be the best (and only) way to know if a tummy tuck is right for you.   

Found this helpful, but want more? 

Good news! This is just one of hundreds of fun, factual videos on the Bustmob Academy app to make your plastic surgery research easy.

From commonly told myths and FAQs, to recovery time and costs, Jenny Eden, founder of Bustmob, and Gretta Nance, lead educator at Amelia Aesthetics, break down your plastic surgery research into bite-size, binge-able pieces. 

Pair the Bustmob Academy app with Bustmob Community, a safe space to connect and learn wherever you are on your plastic surgery journey, and you are well on your way to being empowered and educated before you even set foot in your consultation.

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Jenny Eden
Founder, Bustmob Community
Gretta Nance
Lead Educator, Amelia Aesthetics
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