Patients looking to undergo a tummy tuck may end up hearing the term “diastasis recti” during their consultation. They may also come across it in their research. Unless you are especially familiar with the condition, many patients do not know what diastasis recti is. So, what is diastasis recti and how do you treat it?
Diastasis recti is a condition where the muscles of the abdomen separate from one another. The abdominal muscles--in their normal positions--are closely beside one another. Think of a six pack where there are only a few small divots between each muscle. With diastasis recti, one or more sets of muscles become separated.
One of the most common causes of diastasis recti is pregnancy because the muscles sometimes need to separate to accommodate the pregnancy. After giving birth, however, it is roughly a 50/50 chance the muscles will return to their previous position. While some exercises may help, sometimes the only way to correct diastasis recti becomes surgical intervention.
A tummy tuck frequently features muscle plication which is the surgical procedure that corrects diastasis recti. It sutures the muscles back together to tighten them and correct the pooch appearance associated with the condition.