Ditch the bulge!-Rectus diastasis
Updated: Jan 31
Nine months after creating an amazing baby, a mother experiences so many joys. The worst part though is the thing that most women don’t talk about and despite lots of exercise and tons of crunches it still doesn’t seem to budge…the dreaded bulge! The tummy bulge left behind- also known as rectus diastasis!
What is it?
This mom pooch is a result of the separation of the rectus muscles (also known as the six pack muscles) which helps to accommodate for a growing baby. During pregnancy the muscles gradually stretch out and the thin covering over the muscles (fascia) widens. Once the baby is delivered the abdomen slowly contracts and recoils but most women are still left with the widened fascia that leads to the bulge. The bulge can range from a small amount which makes people look bloated to severe rectus diastasis which can make you look a few months pregnant.
Who does it happen to?
Most women experience some form of rectus diastasis after pregnancy. Women with large babies, twins, or multiple pregnancies can all lead to increase in the separation. Women over 35 generally have a higher risk of separation due to the changes in elastin and collagen production which help with recoil. Poor baseline posture and tone as well as massive weight loss can also result in increased symptoms.
What options do I have to treat it?
After pregnancy, the first thing to do besides enjoying the baby is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with good eating habits and exercise. Core workouts and weight loss can help to reduce symptoms. However most women will find that the diastasis may not improve considerably even after lots of core workouts and training regimens. Some may even notice worsening of the separation as the lining continues to thin.
Surgical treatment options are for those who diet and exercise can’t further address the concern. Abdominoplasty techniques work to tighten the appearance of the abdominal muscles by actually suturing one edge of the separation back towards the other side reducing the space between the two muscles. At the same time, a plastic surgeon can eliminate most stretch marks from below the belly button and remove excess skin and fat. Excess upper pubic area fat or lax tissue can be removed simultaneously. The best way to be evaluated for this is to schedule a cosmetic consultation with Dr. Priti Patel at Aesthetiq Plastic Surgery with offices throughout New Jersey.
Does insurance cover this condition?
Unfortunately most major insurance plans consider repair of the diastasis a cosmetic procedure; however, we would encourage you to contact your specific plan for better details. A cosmetic consultation can be provided in our office for an estimate of the surgical fees for abdominoplasty procedures.
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