Diastasis Recti simply means a separation of the paired midline abdominal muscles also called the Rectus Abdominis muscles. Although not dangerous this condition makes your tummy stick out even if you have good core strength. Paradoxically with greater separation of these muscles, when you try to tense your muscles to tighten your tummy the center part bulges between the separated muscles. Here are some simple ways to determine if you have a significant Diastasis Recti: If you have a midline muscle gap of more than a few finger breadths when you contract your muscles and if you have bulging or protrusion in your midline between your muscles, especially if made worse when you contract your muscles. In my experience the vast majority of women after pregnancy have a Diastasis Recti, the same goes for massive weight gain/loss regardless of sex.
Repair of Diastasis Recti is typically done as part of a Tummy Tuck or Mommy Makeover procedure (regardless of technique) and consists of bringing the Rectus Abdominis muscles together by suturing (sewing) the inside edges of the muscle fascia together. I have found that it makes no difference if the suture material is absorbable or permanent, and typically I perform a two layer repair to insure that the correction is secure. Single layer closures may have a higher tendency of dehiscence (separation) that would require reoperation for repair. Although Diastasis Recti Repair can be done endoscopically for minor separations, this is no longer as popular of a procedure as there is a tendency for midline redundant skin unless there is wide undermining. Recovery is similar to most plastic surgical/muscle repair procedures: no heavy lifting or vigorous exercises for 4-6 weeks depending on your plastic surgeons wishes. With core exercises as part of your daily routine following this procedure you are well on your way to develop a “six pack Abs of Steel”.