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Diastasis Recti Repair Sarasota

Diastasis Recti Repair Sarasota | Muscle Plication Sarasota

The body changes throughout our lives. While this is perfectly normal and natural, it is not always welcome. It can even sometimes cause some health issues or conditions. A common change the body may undergo is diastasis recti which can cause the stomach to protrude. For patients experiencing diastasis recti, it can be a startingly and frustrating condition. Thankfully, there are options. Dr. Alberico Sessa of Sarasota Surgical Arts provides the best diastasis recti repair Sarasota offers.

Overview: What Is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis recti is a separation of the abdominal muscles. Normally, the abdominal muscles are joined together tightly by connective tissue known as the linea alba. This is what creates the appearance of space between visible abs. When diastasis recti occurs, the connective tissue loosens and some or all of the abdominal muscles have moved away from one another.

It is estimated that two-thirds of pregnant women have or will develop diastasis recti during pregnancy. Beyond that, it affects roughly 60% of all people. Abdominal muscle separation is extremely common and not inherently harmful. Though, there are cases where severe separation can cause certain medical and cosmetic problems.

Before & After
A Tummy Tuck Before & After Photo by Dr. Alberico Sessa in Sarasota
Before & After
A Tummy Tuck Before & After Photo by Dr. Alberico Sessa in Sarasota

Causes

Diastasis recti has many causes. In some patients, multiple factors may contribute. Understanding the possible causes of diastasis recti, can help you seek out the proper care. As well as help Dr. Sessa craft an individualized plan. Among the causes of diastasis recti include:

  • Pregnancy (more than one pregnancy, vaginal delivery, having multiples, a naturally petite body, and having a large or heavy baby can all increase the risk of or worsen diastasis recti)
  • Injury or improperly performed exercise
  • Aging
  • Yo-yo dieting
  • Underdeveloped abdominal muscles (mostly in babies)
  • Certain medical conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver

Both men and women can be genetically susceptible to diastasis recti. Also, it can occur several times during a person’s lifetime and repair itself. Though, this is not always the case and becomes less likely with subsequent occurrences.

Benefits Of A Tummy Tuck With Muscle Plication

The most effective way to treat diastasis recti is with a procedure known as muscle plication. It is frequently combined with a tummy tuck since many people with diastasis recti develop extra abdominal skin as well. Therefore, a tummy tuck with correction of abdominal muscle separation is ideal. Some of the benefits of a Sarasota tummy tuck with muscle plication include:

  • Tightening of the abdominal muscles
  • Removal of extra skin on the abdomen
  • Slimmer physique
  • Flat stomach (possible in most cases, but not all)
  • Reduction in clothing size
  • Improved and more proportional body contours
  • Treatment of back pain or incontinence caused by muscle separation
  • Repositioning or reshaping the belly button
  • May make it easier to exercise
  • Reduces stress on ligaments and abdominal cavity
  • Lessened risk of hernias
  • May improve confidence and self-esteem

Types Of Diastasis Recti Repair

Tummy tuck surgery is often considered the most effective and best treatment for diastasis recti. However, it is not the only option and not always necessary. There are some non-surgical options and other surgical options available.

Non-Surgical Options

The most frequently used non-surgical option for treating diastasis recti is simply time. For women who do not gain a ton of weight with pregnancy, they may find that diastasis recti resolves over time. This is also true in cases where babies are born with or develop diastasis recti due to their underdeveloped abdominal muscles. It almost always corrects itself.

For minor cases, physical therapy and at-home exercises can sometimes help repair abdominal muscle separation. However, this is not guaranteed to provide full correction. Additionally, people with diastasis recti should avoid exercises that cause their stomach to become compressed or bunched such as crunches, sit-ups, and planks. It may seem counterintuitive, but these exercises can actually worsen diastasis recti.

Surgical Options

Surgical diastasis recti repair looks similar, but may be performed along with a different procedure. Correcting diastasis recti surgically involves stitching the affected abdominal muscles back together. This is known as muscle plication surgery. While most often done during a tummy tuck, it is also sometimes performed alongside other procedures such as a hernia repair.

Dr. Sessa performs muscle plication with most of his tummy tucks. It not only improves the overall appearance of the abdomen, but also allows him to remove more skin. This can sometimes even lead to abs when a patient has fairly low body fat or loses weight.

Before & After
A Before & After of a Mini Tummy Tuck Plastic Surgery by Dr. Alberico Sessa in Sarasota
Before & After
A Tummy Tuck Before & After Photo by Dr. Alberico Sessa in Sarasota

Before & After Muscle Plication Surgery

Consultation

The first step to undergoing muscle plication surgery is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alberico Sessa at Sarasota Surgical Arts. At this consultation, he will ask about your medical history, goals for the procedure, and aspects of your lifestyle. He will then examine your abdomen to determine the right surgery for you.

If he believes you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck with muscle plication surgery, he will further describe the procedure and what you can expect from the results. You will also receive a finalized price quote and financing information. Patients are usually free to schedule following their consultation.

Surgery

Upon checking in and undergoing initial testing, you will meet with Dr. Sessa for surgical markings. He will also review the surgical plan with you. After this, a licensed anesthesia provider will place you under general anesthesia.

Dr. Sessa will start your tummy tuck with diastasis recti repair surgery by making the lower abdomen incision. The exact length of the incision will differ based on your needs. If only experiencing lower abdominal diastasis recti, then a mini tummy tuck may suffice. The most common incision is the standard tummy tuck incision from hip to hip.

Through this incision, he will use a spiraling vertical incision up the center of the abdominal wall to stitch them back together and pull them tight. He will then remove extra skin and fat before pulling the remaining skin over your abdomen. Finally, he will close the incision in the lower abdomen and you will begin to slowly wake up from surgery.

Recovery

The recovery process following a tummy tuck with muscle plication will involve staying hunched over for around a week. You will also need about two to three weeks off work. Dr. Sessa’s instructions will vary depending on your medical history and specific procedure. However, you can expect instructions such as:

  • Avoid strenuous exercise for about four to six weeks
  • Do not lift anything over about five pounds
  • Elevate the head of the bed when sleeping/resting
  • Do not smoke or drink during recovery
  • Attend all post-operative appointments
  • Take prescribed medications
  • Keep the incision area dry
  • Do not return to work or activities before being okayed by Dr. Sessa

You may notice bruising, swelling, redness, numbness, itchiness, and other side effects. Swelling can stick around for a few months, but most of the uncomfortable symptoms should subside in about two weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Diastasis Recti Repair Permanent?

Yes, though, if a subsequent pregnancy occurs, then it can undo the repair. Some injuries and general age can also stress the repair. Generally though, as long as no pregnancies occur following muscle plication and you maintain a fairly stable weight, diastasis recti repair is permanent. Major weight gain or loss can complicate diastasis repair.

Can You Have A Tummy Tuck Without Muscle Plication?

Yes, though, most tummy tucks include muscle plication. In the cases it is unnecessary, the patient will usually present with extra skin and fat, but well defined muscle underneath. Overall, this accounts for less than half of tummy tuck surgeries.

What Happens If Diastasis Recti Goes Untreated?

Muscle separation is not inherently dangerous. However, if severe and/or left untreated, certain health problems can emerge. First off, people with diastasis recti are more prone to developing hernias. Secondly, back pain and similar chronic pain can surprisingly sometimes be traced back to muscle separation in the abdomen. The abdominal muscles help support the back and spine. When they loosen, this places more pressure on them.

Finally, incontinence can occur since the abdominal muscles play some part in helping the muscles in the extremities function. While not everyone with diastasis recti will experience these issues or it is not necessarily the root cause, it can improve them following surgical correction.

Can Repairing Diastasis Recti Help Health Problems?

Yes, not only can it alleviate any issues caused by muscle separation, but it also makes it easier to live a healthy lifestyle. With better support for your back and lower body, diastasis recti can help treat many areas of chronic pain as well as the issues mentioned above.

Do I Have To Have A Tummy Tuck To Fully Repair Diastasis Recti?

Not necessarily, though it is the most effective and nearly guaranteed way to fully repair diastasis recti. Muscle plication can be performed on its own or with procedures other than a tummy tuck. However, most patients will see the best results from undergoing a Sarasota tummy tuck with diastasis recti repair.

The Best Muscle Plication Surgery In Sarasota With Dr. Alberico Sessa

Dr. Alberico Sessa is a Florida cosmetic surgeon who has performed luxury surgery for over a decade. He frequently performs tummy tucks and other body contouring surgeries including liposuction, mommy makeover, and breast augmentation. Dr. Sessa works to achieve the patient’s ideal body and customizes each procedure to the individual patient. He provides the best diastasis recti repair Sarasota offers.

Sarasota Surgical Arts is a Florida Board of Medicine certified outpatient surgery center. Focused on addressing both surgical and non-surgical aesthetic needs, Sarasota Surgical Arts wants to help you take control of your body and achieve your ideal contours and results.

To learn more and schedule a consultation, call us at 941-923-1736. You can also reach out online using Price Simulator, chat, or contact form.