Rectus Diastasis 

When Dr Marco talks about one having a rectus diastasis problem, what does it mean?

Rectus, is frequently know as Recti, or Rectus Abdominal Muscles or Core Muscles and diastasis means separation gap.

So Rectus Diastasis in simple term is known as Rectus Abdominal Muscles Separation Gap between the left and right abdominal muscles  also known as the linea alba . Or it is a separation of the rectus abdominal (abdominis) in the midline of the core muscles.  The separation gap can be larger than 2 cm.

Who can get this problem of Rectus Diastasis?

This rectus diastasis can happened to anyone, both male and female  and it can affect to those who :

–  suffers from yoyo weight gain and weight lost

– post pregnancy ladies

– can be idiopathic – meaning anyone can get it at any point of their life.

How do you know you have a Rectus Diastasis problem?  Are there any signs and symptoms?

The Look

One of the typical physical look is the “abdominal bulge”   one will have in their abdomen. The abdomen bulge will make one look like you are “pregnant “or still having a “mummy tummy”.  This can happen to anyone who has tried to exercise or has been constantly exercising and always careful about their diet but that abdominal bulge does not go away.

belly shows rectus diastasis


male diastasis

Self-Physical Check

One of the self-check you can do at home to check if you have a rectus diastasis gap can be done as follows:

  1. If you lie down your back on the floor , bend your knees and feet flat on the floor
  2. Hold your head in your hands and lift  your shoulders and head off the floor
  3. Place 2 fingers in the midline of your abdomen
  4. If you feel a gap in the midline , you might be having a rectus diastasis gap
  5. Or if you try to do a sit up and you have a sausage like bulge projecting on your abdomen, it also means a possibility of rectus diastasis.

Fitness series with beautiful girl

The Complaints

– Constant or frequent backaches and pain (even if you have gone for professional advice and help)

– Signs of urinary incontinence

– Early signs of pelvic floor dysfunction

– Spine instability – such as poor posture or lordosis commonly known as swaying of spine

– Limited functional movements

What happens if we do not seek treatment?

If one does not seek any treatment for rectus diastasis, one will continue to have medical problems that may lead to chronic issues such as

– Back Pain

– Hip Pain

– Bad Postures resulting from  lordosis  & swaying of spine

– Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and weakness

– Pelvic organ prolapse

– Urinary Incontinence

– Onset of hernias

– Chronic constipation

How do you treat  Rectus Diastasis ?

For those lucky ones who managed to detect it early when their rectus diastasis gap is very small (less than 1- 2 cm), it can be treated or the gap can be control by their physiotherapist or physical educator to a certain extend if there is no other medical issues.

However many are not so lucky. By the time they seek for help, the rectus gap is usually already wider than 2 / 3 cm , suffering from chronic back pains and aches ,pelvic floor dysfunction etc and requires surgery.

The different types of  rectus diastasis

rectus diastasis types

How is the surgery done?

Surgery can be done by 2 methods:

  1. Open method
  2. Close method

What is  open method ?

Open method surgery is for those who presents with some excess skin or lots of excess skin. The incision is made along the bikini line and the excess skin is removed at the same time and this gives a tighten effect on the abdomen and also the groin area.

What is close method ?

Close method surgery is for those who presents with no excess skin but only a prominent abdomen bulge. It can be done through the Endoscopic method or the latest high tech way of using the  davinci© Robotic Surgical System. These methods leave minimal keyhole scars.

How is the rectus diastasis gap repaired?

The rectus diastasis plication surgery is done by stitching the left and right abdominal muscles together to make an inner like corset in the mid line from the xiphoid to the umbilicus and down to the pubis area. Sometimes depending on the severity of the gap and the condition of the rectus tissues, the repair can be even done in 2 layers.

how does rectus diastasi gap look like (2)

how is rectus diastasis repaired

 How long is the surgery?

Surgery time will depends on individual case, complexity, severity of the rectus diastasis gap and which method is the surgery done with. It can be from 2 hrs to 4 hrs.

What is the Recovery like?

There are different phases of recovery for this surgery  and a minimal of  1 night stay in the hospital is recommended.  One is  also advised to rest and not move around too much for at least  one week.  To start  light exercise will be one month after the surgery and any strenuous activities such as playing tennis or golf or marathon will be from three months onwards depending on individual recovery.

Is this surgery covered by  Medical Insurance?

Depending of the severity of our symptoms , it can be classified as a medical condition and the surgical repair can be covered by your medical insurance.

To know more about the above procedure or if you suspect you might be having a rectus diastasis problem , do call us at our clinic at 65-64648075 for an appointment to consult Dr Marco.