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Rectus Diastasis Repair In Scottsdale, AZ

Rectus Diastasis Repair in Scottsdale, AZ

Rectus diastasis occurs when the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis) separate or widen, resulting in a protruding stomach. This condition commonly arises during pregnancy as the body adjusts to accommodate the growing fetus, leading to muscle separation. Around 50% of women experience rectus diastasis after pregnancy. Though it often resolves on its own, it can sometimes persist and become a lasting issue. For men, excess weight can lead to rectus diastasis. While not inherently risky, this condition can cause numerous physical and aesthetic concerns. A doctor or plastic surgeon can provide the necessary intervention to alleviate symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life.

Dr. Jude LaBarbera, a Scottsdale plastic surgeon, offers diastasis recti repair surgery to enhance his patients’ quality of life. Serving both male and female clients from Scottsdale and the surrounding Arizona areas, Dr. LaBarbera has performed numerous successful procedures. With a high level of specialization, he employs advanced surgical techniques to achieve excellent outcomes while minimizing the risk of side effects and complications.


When the space between the right and left abdominal muscles increases, it results in a condition known as rectus diastasis, often referred to as a ‘pooch.’ This condition frequently occurs during pregnancy due to the significant pressure on the abdomen, affecting over half of pregnant women. The likelihood increases with age and multiple pregnancies.

Newborns can also develop rectus diastasis, though it usually resolves on its own. In men, the condition may arise from factors like poor diet, improper weightlifting, incorrect sit-up techniques, or other causes.

The primary symptom is a noticeable bulge in the abdomen, particularly when the abdominal muscles are strained or contracted. Additional symptoms may include:

  • Poor posture
  • Lower back pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty with daily activities
  • Challenges in lifting objects
  • Weakness in the abdominal muscles

During your initial consultation with Dr. LaBarbera, he will listen to your concerns and conduct a physical exam to diagnose rectus diastasis. Imaging tests such as ultrasound or CT scan may be used to confirm the diagnosis.


LaBarbera Clinic offers comprehensive plastic, reconstructive, and cosmetic surgery services designed to enhance your natural beauty and boost your confidence. We prioritize patient comfort and collaborate as a team to achieve the precise results you desire, whether dramatic or subtle. Dr. Jude LaBarbera is dedicated to understanding each patient’s vision and working diligently to help them feel more attractive, confident, and vibrant. To see how plastic surgery with Dr. LaBarbera can help you reach your goals, check out our before and after photos of patients enjoying their results.


Since diastasis recti is not considered a true hernia and generally poses no health risks, most doctors suggest trying noninvasive methods to address it. When discussing treatment options for this condition, Dr. LaBarbera typically recommends the following approaches:


Exercises can help strengthen your abdominal muscles and alleviate symptoms of rectus diastasis. Specialists often recommend deep belly exercises performed with a neutral spine, meaning you should lie down with your knees up. The goal is to engage and control your transverse abdominis. Pelvic floor exercises, such as pelvic tilts and Kegels, can also be beneficial.

However, it is important to avoid certain types of abdominal exercises, such as belly twists, common yoga poses, backward bends, heavy lifting workouts, and exercises that require the use of knees or hands without adequate abdominal support. Performing the correct exercises in the right way is crucial to prevent injury. Working with a physical therapist can ensure you are doing these exercises properly and safely.


Surgery is generally not Dr. LaBarbera’s initial approach for correcting rectus diastasis. However, when exercises fail to strengthen the abdominal muscles and alleviate symptoms, he may recommend a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty specifically tailored for diastasis recti repair. This surgery focuses on reuniting the separated muscles. Unlike a full tummy tuck, it may not involve removing excess fat and skin. For patients with an umbilical hernia caused by severe diastasis recti, this condition will also be addressed during the procedure.

The surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. Incisions are made around the belly button, and the widened abdominal muscles are stitched back together using non-dissolvable sutures. The belly button is then reattached, and the abdominal skin is tightened. Advanced surgical techniques are employed to achieve optimal results and minimize scarring.

The best first step in determining the right treatment for rectus diastasis is consulting with Dr. LaBarbera. He will assess your unique needs and recommend the most suitable solution tailored to your specific requirements.


The surgery to repair rectus diastasis usually lasts 2-4 hours, but the recovery period is crucial. Drains are inserted during the procedure and must remain in place for around two weeks. Swelling can persist for up to six weeks, and a compression garment will be used to support the treated areas during this time. It’s important to care for your wounds and avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. While you can expect to return to routine activities in about two months, complete recovery from the surgery can take up to a year.


The cost of diastasis recti repair surgery differs for each patient. Since many health insurers view this procedure as an elective cosmetic treatment, it is often not covered. During your first consultation at Dr. LaBarbera’s Scottsdale, AZ office, his team will give you a cost estimate based on your specific treatment plan.




2 – 4 Hours


Up to 6 Weeks


Not Covered



Diastasis rectus frequently improves without surgical intervention, particularly in patients who had minimal weight gain during pregnancy. Specific exercises can be highly beneficial in these cases. At your initial consultation, Dr. LaBarbera will advise you to try a proper diet and exercise program before considering surgery.

Tummy tucks are effective in tightening and strengthening weakened abdominal muscles. Plastic surgeons use permanent sutures during this procedure to reconnect separated muscles, resulting in a firmer and flatter abdominal contour. This surgery not only enhances abdominal support but also alleviates symptoms of rectus diastasis, such as lower back pain and incontinence.

When surgery is deemed the best option for repairing rectus diastasis, it’s important to wait at least one year after childbirth. This allows your body ample time to heal and prepare for the procedure. During this period, you can also complete breastfeeding and explore nonsurgical solutions like exercise and diet.

Jude LaBarbera MD Plastic Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ, offers this website solely for informational purposes. It is not intended as formal medical advice. To further discuss your medical needs, please schedule a plastic surgery consultation by contacting our office. We serve Scottsdale and the surrounding Arizona cities.