Blog — Notes of a Plastic Surgeon

Welcome to my blog. I am a plastic surgeon in Seattle and have been in private practice since 1991. I've seen more than a few interesting faces and cases through my years spent in the exam room, the operating room and the emergency room. And I have an opinion on just about everything relating to plastic surgery (and a lot of unrelated stuff). If you like my blog, let me know. Thanks for reading! Lisa

Rectus Diastasis Explained

Seattle Plastic surgeon thinks a picture is worth a thousand words in explaining what she does with the muscle during an abdominoplasty a.k.a. tummy tuck.  

Check out these drawings of the abdominal wall.  The one on the left shows what I see during an abdominoplasty a.k.a. tummy tuck.  The white area in the middle is the fascia (it looks and feels like packing tape) connecting the two rectus muscles on either side.  With pregnancy and sometimes weight gain, the muscles get separated and the mid-line becomes very weak and the abdominal tone decreases.  This separation is called rectus diastasis which translates into separation of the rectus.

During abdominoplasty a.k.a. tummy tuck, the surgeon peels up the fat and skin layer and exposes this stretched out area.  Then stitches are placed in the fascia where it meets the rectus muscles and used to pull the edges  back together.  These stitches accomplish what exercise really cannot.  Exercise may strengthen the muscle but it does not move the muscle back into a normal position.   

Maybe this explains why I prefer the term adominoplasty to tummy tuck.  The former acknowledges the repair and reshaping that takes place with this operation.  The latter makes it sound like just a quick nip and tuck.   It’s not!  It’s a real operation but one well worth the recovery for the vast majority of patients.

Thanks for reading.  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

 

Category: Body Contouring, Mommy Makeover, Tummy Tuck | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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