Diastasis rectus abdominis is a medical condition whereby myofascial pain occurs due to separation of the rectus muscles in the midline. Rectus diastasis is especially prominent in patients who have had more than one child, have had a Caesarean section, or have had children over age 35. Due to separation of the rectus muscles, surrounding core muscles must increase their tension in order to provide core strength. This causes spasms in the transversalis muscle and the quadratus lumborum muscles. This leads to chronic lower back discomfort as well as loss of core strength. Repair of diastasis rectus abdominis can occur through a low transverse incision just above the pubic hairline. The rectus muscles are visualized and repaired. Repair of the rectus muscles allows re-creation of muscular tension and thereby allows for rehabilitation of core strength.
Patients that are not candidates for this type of surgery include patients who smoke or are planning a future pregnancy. Patients with a BMI of greater than 35 may not be a candidate.
Surgery takes approximately two to three hours. This operation is designed as a functional procedure to improve core strength. Two drains are placed in the abdomen and these are removed at three to five days post surgery. Patients are discharged home the same day of surgery.
Patients are asked to refrain from heavy lifting and exercise for a period of six to eight weeks. During this period the rectus muscles are healing and there is no benefit to early exercise. Following repair of the rectus muscles and appropriate healing, rehabilitation with physiotherapy is required. This allows rehabilitation of core muscles and increase to core strength. (Download postoperative brochure for diastasis rectus abdominis repair).
Seroma: 10 to 15%
Deep venous thrombosis: Less than 1%
Pulmonary embolus: Less than 1%
Wound healing problems: 1-3%
Incisional asymmetry: 1%
Incision visible outside of under line: 1-3%