What Causes Abdominal Muscle Separation?

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While many Omaha patients undergo a tummy tuck for cosmetic purposes – to remove stubborn excess skin and fat that won’t go away with regular diet and exercise – some patients elect to a get a tummy tuck for a medical condition. During a tummy tuck, abdominal muscle separation, or diastasis recti, can be fixed by stitching the abdominal muscles back together. What is abdominal muscle separation and what causes it? Read on as Omaha board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ayoub of Westfield Plastic Surgery Center explains this phenomenon and how a tummy tuck can fix abdominal muscle separation.

What is Abdominal Muscle Separation?

Abdominal muscle separation is when your abdominal muscles split, causing your abdomen to stick out, creating a “pooch.” Abdominal muscle separation occurs when your left and right abdominal muscles separate, which can happen from a variety of causes. Medically speaking, abdominal muscle separation is defined as a gap of 2.7 centimeters between the left and right sides of the rectus abdominis muscle.

Why Does Abdominal Muscle Separation Happen?

There are a variety of causes of abdominal muscle separation, but the most common cause is pregnancy, due to the growing uterus. About 66% of pregnant women experience abdominal muscle separation. Abdominal muscle separation is especially common in pregnant women over age 35, women who are pregnant with a large baby, women who are pregnant with multiples or have had multiple pregnancies. In addition to pregnancy, abdominal muscle separation can also occur due to yo-yo dieting, doing sit-ups, incorrect weight lifting, and can also occur in men.

How Does a Tummy Tuck Fix Abdominal Muscle Separation?

During a tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck, a board-certified plastic surgeon like Omaha Dr. Ayoub can fix abdominal muscle separation. This is done by reattaching the left and right abdominal muscles together, and stitching them together with a corset-like stitch. The result is a flatter, more contoured abdomen, and reduced belly pooch.

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We Are Here To Help!

If you want more information or have any questions, here is how you can get some answers.

Where Can You Get More Information?

If you believe that you have abdominal muscle separation, it’s important that you speak with a board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Ayoub right away. Certain activities, like sit-ups, yoga exercises like downward dog, or heavy lifting – including lifting your children – can make abdominal muscle separation worse. By seeing Dr. Ayoub, he can help diagnose abdominal muscle separation, recommend activities to avoid and let you know if a tummy tuck is the right treatment for you.

Are You a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

If you have abdominal muscle separation and are interested in having a tummy tuck to repair the damage, you must first verify with Omaha Dr. Ayoub that you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck. Typically, you would be a good candidate for this procedure if:

  • You are within your ideal weight range;
  • You are in good general health;
  • You are a non-smoker, or promise to quit smoking 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after your surgery, as smoking can complicate both the tummy tuck procedure and healing process;
  • Have ample time off from work or school to recover from the surgical procedure; and
  • Are in good psychological health and have realistic expectations for your tummy tuck procedure.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you’re ready to talk to a Dr. Ayoub about fixing separated abdominal muscles via a tummy tuck, there’s no better time to start the process than today. Call Dr. Ayoub’s Omaha office at (402) 829-6384 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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Specialists in Plastic Surgery Serving the Omaha, NE Area.







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Dr. Ayoub is a board-certified plastic surgeon offering a wide variety of aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures designed to help you become the best version of yourself. For more than 20 years, Dr. Ayoub and his team at Westfield Plastic Surgery Center have been an active part of the Omaha, NE community. Together they inspire a warm, welcoming environment for every patient.