What is Diastasis Recti and What can be Done About it?

Plastic Surgeon Serving Indianapolis, Indiana


Diastasis is the medical term for separation. Recti refers to the rectus abdominis – the vertical muscles most commonly called "abs." Diastasis recti is the separation of these muscles – an issue common during pregnancy or periods of rapid weight gain.

Diastasis recti may produce a bulge or “pooch” in the center of the abdomen. It may also contribute to:

  • Poor balance and posture
  • Weak core
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Urine leakage
  • Chronic back pain
  • Hiatal hernia

Diastasis recti may also cause constipation and bloating in some individuals.

Do Core Workouts Treat Diastasis Recti?

Core exercises like crunches, sit-ups, and bicycles do not treat diastasis recti. In fact, when performed poorly or without complete engagement, these exercises can actually exacerbate diastasis recti and may encourage herniation. So too might “belly-down” core work such as plank and forearm plank. This makes treating diastasis recti particularly challenging.  

Maternity binders and tubular bandages may help provide daytime support for women struggling with diastasis recti. So too might avoiding heavy lifting, practicing good posture, and providing additional support for the low back when sitting. These are, however, just methods of dealing with discomfort. Fixing diastasis recti for good may require surgical intervention.


Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery) is an effective way to permanently address diastasis recti. During this procedure, the abdominal wall is stitched back together, serving the dual purpose of slimming and toning the waist while reattaching separated muscles for improved strength and reduced risks for herniation and chronic pain.

In addition to addressing diastasis recti, tummy tuck surgery can be used to eliminate bulky, loose, and sagging skin from the belly. Fat removal further helps sculpt and tone the midsection, allowing the procedure to produce remarkable results.

Abdominoplasty is typically included in post-bariatric body contouring and mommy makeover procedures. The procedure works well as a standalone option as well and may be suggested as such depending on your specific needs.

Contact Renaissance Plastic Surgery to Learn More

To schedule your abdominoplasty consultation at our Indianapolis office, please call 317-575-9152 today. Dr. Joseph Fata is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving Carmel, Noblesville, and all surrounding areas of Indiana.