Diastasis Recti Repair Surgery Cost

Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

Diastasis recti, also referred to as an abdominal separation, simply means your stomach sticks out because of the space located between the muscles on the left and the right of your abdomen has widened.  With this separation, it causes the abdomen to protrude and may not be able to be fixed with simple exercises.

While this look may be temporary after a pregnancy, some women with this condition often feel they still look pregnant, even months after they had birth.  Those who have experienced a heavy weight loss or gain may experience this look as well.

In some cases, it can disappear with the right amount of exercise, but in a lot of extreme cases, the surgery may be necessary.

How much does diastasis recti surgery cost?

The cost of diastasis recti surgery, like most surgeries, will depend on the surgeon, the facility, the complexity of the case, the amount of anesthesia you need, and your geographical location.  From our research online via multiple people who posted their quotes, the prices ranged anywhere from as little as $7,000 to as much as $21,000 without any health insurance coverage.

The procedure itself can cost about $5,000, on average, but when you factor in the hospital/surgical center fees, the anesthesiologist and the medications, this is where the price can far exceed the low $xx,xxx range.

As almost all health insurance companies consider this a cosmetic procedure, you will find almost all health insurance companies will not cover it unless it’s paired with an umbilical hernia repair, which is often deemed medically necessary.

At Realself.com, for example, only a few members reported costs, with the average at the time of this publishing being about $10,525.  According to multiple doctors online, many note that instead of a diastasis recti surgery, a “floating umbilicus,” which repairs the superior abdomen, can cost much less and have the same results in the end.

What is diastasis recti surgery?

Diastasis recti, according to Healthline.com, will occur when the two large parallel bands of muscles, located in the middle of the abdomen, stay seperated after a pregnancy.  As these muscles will naturally separate during the pregnancy as the uterus expands, some women will experience these muscles will stretch so much that they will never heal or fully go back together again.  This, unfortunately, will cause a bulge-like look between the seperated bands, creating what’s known as a “mommy” pooch due to “moms” who have given multiple births over time.

Just like a tummy tuck, this procedure essentially brings the seperated muscles back together again.

The surgical process

Performed under a general anesthesia, the entire surgical procedure, from start to finish, can take about one to three hours to perform.

During the procedure, the skin will be dissected up to the rib cage area, followed by tightening the seperated muscles.

Next, the belly button will be repositioned and all of the excess skin will be removed, which is designed to help create a tighter abdomen.  At this time, the surgeon may also recommend liposuction if he or she feels some excessive fat needs to be removed.

After any excess skin is removed, the remaining skin is then released and pulled down to create the tight abdomen look.

When the procedure is complete, the incision will be sutured, bandaged and you may be asked to wear a compression garment for the days after the procedure to help reduce any swelling which may occur.

Diastasis recti surgery recovery

For the next one to two weeks, doctors note your abdomen will appear bruised and swollen, but as you rest and take it easy, this look will eventually disappear.  TorontoSurgery.com does note the first two days after the surgery will be the time you experience the most pain, but after this, many patients feel a dramatic improvement.

According to Leigh Anderson at LifeHacker.com, you will need to stay in the hospital overnight and will have to go home with drains, which can stay in for up to 10 days.

For the four to six weeks after the surgery, you will be asked to avoid any strenuous activity.  You will also be asked to not smoke during this time as you will be depriving your body of the oxygen it needs during the healing process.

The entire recovery can take an average of six weeks, with most patients seeing final results in about 90 days.

Tips to know

In her journey, Danielle at LoveLoveThing.com posted her before, during and after recovery pictures of this exact procedure, along with the day-by-day recovery process. As a warning, however, these photos may be graphic to some.  Leigh Anderson at LifeHacker.com also talked about her experience with the procedure.

While the condition isn’t dangerous, it’s just how the stomach looks visually, but in some circumstances, it can cause back pain for some or can even make it hard for some to lift heavy objects due to the lack of core strength.  In rare scenarios, a hernia can bulge through the space that was formed after giving birth.

The Mayo Clinic only recommends this procedure for women who are experiencing abdominal muscle weaknesses which are interfering with daily activities.  Other than that, if you’re bothered by it due to cosmetic reasons, then the surgery could be a choice as well.

Doctors, for the most part, cannot agree with the surgery.  Some doctors say dieting and exercise can greatly help the situation, whereas others suggest the surgery in some cases.  Most doctors, however, agree you cannot always fix it without the surgery.

A good candidate, according to TorontoSurgery.com, will be physically healthy, be at a stable weight and be a non-smoker.  They also note that this procedure should not be considered a procedure for those who are looking to remove an excessive amount of fat.  Also, to be considered, you must be certain you will not get pregnant again as doing so will cause the damage to come back, even with the procedure.

How to save money

The surgery is not always required as in some cases, physical therapy can help your situation, as per HealthLine.com.  Compared to the $10,000+ price tag mentioned above, a few $100 visits to your local physical therapist could help teach you certain exercises to help strengthen your abdominal muscles and which exercises to avoid.  He or she can also teach you how to correctly lift, move around and posture techniques.  For this condition, like the surgery, you may find your health insurance company may not cover the visits, especially if it isn’t medically necessary.

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