If you gave birth months ago, yet your body still looks pregnant, you might have developed a medical condition known as diastasis recti, which affects about two-thirds of pregnant women.
Dr. Ary Krau meets many women struggling with diastasis recti at his Miami plastic surgery practice. Read on as he explains the condition and discusses how he can fix it.
Understanding Diastasis Recti
Diastasis recti is a condition affecting the abdominal muscles that often occurs postpartum. It is especially common among mothers over the age of 35 and mothers who give birth to multiples.
Due to the pressure of the growing uterus and pregnancy hormones that soften and relax connective tissue, the right and left side of the abdomen can spread apart at the linea alba, or the fibrous structure that runs down the midline of the abdomen. While minor separation is nothing to worry about, a split that is larger than 2 centimeters wide is problematic. Diastasis recti can cause a pooch or bulging in the stomach that makes a woman look pregnant even months after she has delivered.
Time can help diastasis recti; as the hormone levels return to their pre-pregnancy levels, the connective tissue starts to contract. Corrective exercises and physical therapy can also help restore muscle strength and function. However, exercise routines should be approved and supervised by a doctor or fitness trainer to avoid exercises that can actually exacerbate the problem.
Tummy Tuck for Diastasis Recti
More serious cases of diastasis recti may be corrected through tummy tuck surgery.
During the operation, Dr. Krau makes a horizontal incision on the lower abdomen, just above the bikini line. Through the incision, he repairs the separated abdominal muscles, stitching them together in a corset-like fashion. Dr. Krau also removes excess skin and pockets of fat on the lower abdomen, and relocates the belly button higher on the abdomen if needed. Finally, he pulls down the remaining skin from the upper abdomen over the open area and stitches it into place.
After healing from the surgery, the abdomen should look flatter and firmer. Any bulging or pooching should be gone. The scarring from the incision is low enough to be concealed underneath a bathing suit or underwear, and should fade considerably.
Learn More about Tummy Tuck Surgery
To learn more about tummy tuck for diastasis recti and whether you are a candidate for the procedure, please call or email Dr. Krau today.