Two days ago I went in for my pre-op appointment with a surgeon to discuss the plan for my upcoming combined Hernia Repair and Diastasis Recti Repair surgery. The decision to move forward with a surgical repair of my abdomen has not been an easy one, and in fact, I have waited almost 2 years after delivering my son before moving forward with this treatment option.
Some people will choose to use physical therapy, the MUTU system or other abdominal restoration programs to pull their abdomen back into place. This requires persistence, patience, and a ton of hard work. I know because I was able to accomplish this after previous pregnancies.
After my daughter, I had a 2.5-3 finger separation between my abs; a clear and obvious diastsis recti separation. After working with a personal trainer, and completing an extensive abdominal program that incorporated boxing to strengthen my core and my posture, my gap reduced down to 1.5-2 fingers across. While there was some damage to the skin around my belly button, it was not very obvious to others, and I was happy with my appearance overall.
Fast forward to after my final child, my body is very different. I developed an umbilical hernia in addition to a very extensive abdominal gap. My gap is over 4 fingers wide, and while I began working with the trainer after 3 months postpartum, my abdomen remains tender to touch, and I have an overwhelming feeing of being “exposed”. My core is not stable, my sciatic nerve flares up and shoots pain down my right leg whenever I exercise (stalling my weight loss progress), and my intestinal digestion is visible if I lay down in a relaxed position. Sometimes I can even feel firm piecesof swallowed food moving right under my abdominal skin! Finally, if I want to lay on my stomach on the bed, or in order to collapse on the floor after push ups, I have to readjust my intestines before laying my weight on the open section. If not, the area feels “squeezed”, or squished.
In terms of exercise, activity and weight loss, I feel so unable. Stuck. Until my recent decision, I felt so discouraged. Between the deformed shape of my stomach (looks very much like Snoopy the Dog), and the sciatic nerve pain every time I try to exercise, I know that the surgery is best way to solve this problem. Surgery is likely the only way.
I met with multiple surgeons, both plastic and gastrointestinal (non plastic surgeons). All of them used words such as “Extensive shift”, “Deformity”, “Such outward force” to describe my abdomen. This confirmed my suspicions about the extent of the damage I have been suffering from.
I am far from my ideal weight. This surgery will not change that. This surgery will, however, improve the sensation of having an “exposed core”. It will remove the obstacle, the physical and mental obstacle, so that I can focus solely on improving my weight and health, as I have successfully done many times before.
Wish me luck!
Also, Please visit https://fit2b.us/how-to-check-for-diastasis-hd/ to learn to check your own belly if you suspect a diastasis.