Rectus Diastasis: What to do About This Painful Abdominal Bulge

Rectus diastasis, diastasis recti, and ab separation. This condition goes by many names, but they all mean the same thing: a partial or complete separation of your abdominal muscles in the middle of your stomach.

Rectus diastasis is a condition that can affect anyone. It’s particularly common during pregnancy because your abdominal muscles may separate to accommodate your growing baby. Other possible causes include lifting heavy objects or performing unsafe abdominal exercises.

Rectus diastasis creates a visible bulge in your abdomen, but it’s more than just a cosmetic concern. Untreated rectus diastasis can weaken your abdominal muscles over time, leaving you with chronic lower back pain and reduced mobility.

The good news is that rectus diastasis treatment can make a big difference. Rachel Alt, MD, Brian Prebil, DO, and our team at the Center for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery offer the latest in rectus diastasis surgery.

If you’re not sure what to do about the painful bulge in your abdomen, we’re here to help.

Conservative treatment for rectus diastasis

When you come to the Center for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery for rectus diastasis care, we start with a comprehensive physical exam. Dr. Alt and Dr. Prebil review your medical history, assess your symptoms, and evaluate the severity of your condition.

Some people experience only partial tears of the abdominal muscles. In these mild cases, the abdominals may strengthen and heal on their own after a few months.

Nonsurgical treatment for rectus diastasis can include wearing a supportive binder or belly band to give your abdominal muscles extra support as they heal. 

A physical therapy program can enhance recovery by strengthening surrounding muscles. If you have rectus diastasis, it’s important to avoid lifting heavy objects and performing targeted abdominal exercises while you’re healing.

Minimally invasive rectus diastasis surgery

Our team often recommends conservative treatment options first. But if your abdominal muscles have completely separated, or you’re still dealing with pain after trying nonsurgical options, it could be time to consider minimally invasive surgery.

Dr. Alt and Dr. Prebil may recommend surgery for people who have severe abdominal separation, significant lower back pain, or find it difficult to participate in daily activities. Whether your condition was caused by pregnancy or an injury, surgery can repair the separated muscles.

During surgery, our team makes a few small incisions around your abdominals. We reattach the separated muscles and close the incisions.

Because we use minimally invasive techniques, the procedure boasts several benefits over traditional open surgery, including faster recovery times, smaller scars, and reduced risk of infection.

You don’t have to live with the discomfort and embarrassment of rectus diastasis. Find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive surgery with a consultation at Center for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery. Contact us online or call the office for an appointment.

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