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Can a Tummy Tuck Repair Post-Pregnancy Diastasis Recti?

Pretty much everything about your life changes after you have a baby—with body changes being perhaps the most obvious. Hormones have a major impact on a range of things, including weight gain and retention. To that end, many women often start a new post-pregnancy workout regimen to lose their “baby weight.” Unfortunately, many of these same women end up frustrated by their results. This is often because the belly generally shrinks back to its original size within six to eight weeks after a woman gives birth, but some find that they are stuck with a small belly bulge that makes them look several months pregnant. This is due to a problem known as diastasis recti, which occurs when the left and right sides of the vertically parallel “six pack” muscles on the abdomen separate during pregnancy. When your belly expands for your growing baby, these muscles and the connective tissue that holds them together (the fascia) become thinner and stretched as the abdominal wall is strained. Fortunately, a tummy tuck from our New Jersey-based Burnett Plastic Surgery team is a very effective way to correct diastasis recti—especially if exercises to strengthen the core aren’t enough to fix the problem or your condition is more severe.

Dr. Burnett uses sutures to tighten the fascia and pull the muscles together, making a stronger barrier to hold back fat and more that would otherwise bulge outward. Excess, sagging skin and stubborn pockets of subcutaneous fat will also be removed during the tummy tuck procedure. The goal is to create an overall firmer and flatter appearance.

The problem of diastasis recti is more common among mothers of multiples, those who have had a C-section, and women who have had more than one pregnancy. If you’re unsure as to whether you have diastasis recti, you can perform a simple self-check by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor, then raise up your torso in a crunch-type position and run your hand along the midline ab muscles above and below the bellybutton.

If you notice a gap between the abdominal muscles of around one inch, this may mean your muscles have spread apart. You may also experience additional symptoms such as lower back pain, poor posture, abdominal weakness, and bloating.

Planning your tummy tuck in New Jersey? Our Burnett Plastic Surgery team is available to answer all of your questions and help you find the best treatments for your goals. Give us a call at 908.233.0200 or set up your appointment to learn more about the benefits of a tummy tuck and other types of plastic surgery.

Carlos Burnett