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Repair of recti diastasis to decrease back pain

by Sandra
(Miami, Fl)

I want to add to this discussion that some women are unable to strengthen their core stomach muscles simply by exercising. This medical problem is caused by child birth which most often damages these muscles beyond repair with simple exercises.

Such damage is medically documented. When a woman has a large baby or multiple births, the resulting muscle injury causes the recti abdominus (the two front vertical stomach muscles) to stretch beyond use. This is called recti diastasis and can be repaired only by surgery.

The surgery is often called a tummy tuck. Most women don't realize the medical necessity of this surgery. Most insurance companies won't even cover the surgery calling it cosmetic in nature. Without the surgery, the muscles remain slack and often continue to deteriorate. Any resulting back pain only worsens as the woman ages.

This information needs to be added to any discussion about protecting yourself from lower back pain. It is important that women be educated about this medical problem and not be made to feel that they are merely vain for wanting the repair surgery.

And finally, it is imperative that we fight the insurance industry in this country that refuses to pay for such medically necessary surgery. I would guess that such decisions were made by males who have never suffered from this muscle injury.

Comments for Repair of recti diastasis to decrease back pain

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Am I Too Old for this Surgery? NEW
by: Anonymous

I am a 61-year-old woman. I had two children, both by C-section, when I was in my twenties. I had what they called back then a "bikini" cut.

In the past couple of years, I've had increasing pain in my lower back to the point that my muscles actually feel like they are burning. It is interfering in all of my activities. I feel like I can only do something for a few minutes before I've got to sit or lie down again because my back hurts so much.

Is it too late for me to get this surgery? Can you give me at least a range of what the expected cost might be? It's sad that most insurance companies won't pay, because my quality of life is certainly compromised. And at 61, I certainly wouldn't have this surgery for any "vain" purposes.

new scientific evidence, NEW
by: Anonymous

I too am having what all of you are describing below. do dehilibating and annoying. I have had 4 children, the last were twins who weighted 3.7kg and 3.2kg). so that is 16pounds of baby! anyway I have a 5cm separation (ultrasound) and no tension in the linear alba. insurance company has said no to the repair.

I would like to post here a new article released this month by the Australian surgeons. march 2018

Abdominoplasty Improves Low Back Pain
and Urinary Incontinence

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: March 2018 - Volume 141 - Issue 3 - p 637–645
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000004100

This prospective multicenter study has demonstrated a significant improvement in low back pain and urinary incontinence following abdominoplasty in 214 patients. No method of abdominoplasty was superior in effecting this change. All patients had closure of a rectus diastasis, and most had a cutaneous closure using tension. By restoring prepartum contour, it is also possible to restore prepartum function.

Good luck ladies!

I'm completely in awe. NEW
by: Anonymous

I've been suffering from severe back pain for as long as I can remember. During/after my pregnancies it became worse. I'm 29, and I have 2 children, both were vertical c-sections (cut from belly button down). I thought if I lost weight and got down to the healthy weight range, I would have much less back pain...but I was SO wrong! The pain used to be just in my lower back (mostly the left side), and the left side of my lower pelvis and hip. My youngest is 4 now, and the back pain has actually gotten much worse. It extends from the middle center area of my spine to my lower back and hip. I saw a chiropractor when my 4 yr old was just a baby, and it's not sciatica. My spine curves inward when I'm standing up straight, but it's also very uncomfortable to stand up straight. I feel so much pressure on my back/spine. Often times, I have to bend down to touch my toes and arch my back, which stretches and takes some of the pressure off. It doesn't fix the pain, but it helps a small bit. In the last year and a half however, I've discovered I have a hiatal hernia!

The discomfort after eating, even just a few bites, is barely tolerable. I had an upper GI done last year and there wasn't any gastritis issue found, but the doctor didn't seem to care about the information I was giving him about the hernia. He said he thought I had umbilical hernia, but didn't really seem interested in the hiatal hernia issue.

He suggested I see yet another specialist for that because he doesn't do hernia repairs. I was pretty annoyed that he wasted my time and A LOT of my money. My tummy buldges where my belly button is and just above, especially after eating. I have trouble with my BM too, and never would have thought it was diastasis recti, let alone put ANY of these three things together! Do I talk to my family doc and get a referral to see a general surgeon or just go to a general surgeon w/out a referral?

Hernia/diastasis repair surgery
by: RunNay

Hi everyone,

I originally was referred to a general surgeon for a ventral hernia repair. While there he said that biggest part of my problem was a diastasis, which I had never heard of before.

I am 5 feet tall and about 108 pounds. I had a huge baby boy and twin girls. This is what he thinks caused the problem and over the years it has become worse.

He told me that he could just repair my hernia with mesh, but the chances of it recurring from not having the diastasis repaired would be greater.

Insurance didn't want to cover it, and time was running out. I was just so uncomfortable, and my hernia seemed to getting larger, more tender and painful, quite rapidly.

My surgeon said he would try to get as much as possible paid for by insurance (such as the overnight stay and pain pump) but that I would have to pay some for the plastic surgeon to repair the diastasis. My surgeon assured me that to have the hernia repaired by him and the diastasis repaired by a plastic surgeon was the best way to go in the long run.

Well, I listened to him, and I did have some out of pocket expense.

It turns out that my hernia was attached to my liver and was a little larger than a golf ball.

He did not use any mesh. He just had the plastic surgeon that he uses double stitch my muscles (plicate them) right over top of the hernia repair.

I am now 3 weeks post partum and finally starting to feel the positive effects of the surgery. I too am noticing less back/hip pain already, and I do not have the awful discomfort I had after every meal.

First 2 weeks post-op were tough, but the surgery is well worth the sacrifice.

I do think if men had the babies, this would be covered. After seeing and feeling the positive results of the surgery repair so soon, I know it is medically necessary and should be covered by insurance.

I was fortunate enough to have some savings and a husband who said get it fixed right the first time. Still, it would have been nice to have insurance medically justify it and cover it. This needs to be a covered procedure for all individuals suffering from this awful condition.

Thank you.

by: Anonymous

I have been diagnosed with diastasis of muscle. I look like I am 7 months pregnant. I have twins that's 14, a three, and a 1 year old.

I have severe back pain, I suffer with constipation and where my bulge extends out my tummy is very tender.

I have just begun seeing my dr and now I'm almost in tears because I'm reading that there's a possibility my insurance (Aetna) may not cover what I may need to have done. I could never afford this surgery on my own, so now I am completely discouraged.

I won the fight with the insurance company
by: Shelsy

Hi. I had this all as well. 3 c sections and one baby was 11 pound 8 and the last one 12 pound 8. I suffered severe back pain and bowel problems. They didn't really take into account my pain though.

I didn't give up with the fight but there were times that I wanted to. I had a fantastic surgeon who continued to battle for me as well. The total cost was 26 thousand and I had to pay 2 thousand but to me that was acceptable.

He basically continually stipulated that this wasn't cosmetic and itemized it in detail. He estimated the portion of removing redundant skin and that is the portion that I paid for.

I went to 3 surgeons to get different opinions so that I could keep telling the insurance companies that 3 surgeons have said this now.

I live in new Zealand and my insurance company is sovereign.

Also what helped was I got the surgeon to confirm that their cost was a fixed cost whether or not I had the extra skin removed.

I am currently 7 days post surgery and am in a lot of pain but instantly I felt that I can get my core muscles back and that was straight after surgery in recovery. Fingers crossed for a great recovery as I am missing playing with the kids during recovery and my 20month old has become a daddy's boy since I have been out of action.

All the best.

by: Anonymous

OMG! After reading the comments I realize that I am not alone. I'm a 38 year old mother of 5. I noticed back pain after my fourth child but now after my c-section with my fifth child, the pain in my pelvic and lower back is awful. I can hardly do my job as a hair stylist much less walk my son the short distance to his bus stop. THIS PROCEDURE SHOULD BE COVERED BY HEALTH INSURANCE!

tummy tuck repair of diastisis
by: mm

I had severe/chronic back pain for over 8 years. My physical therapist said it was worsening and I needed a tummy tuck to sew the abs up. Got one, with my own money, and all my back pain, pelvic pain, is gone. I wake up every morning still amazed I do not have pain. This procedure should be covered by insurance.

by: Anonymous

I am 5'3". I gave birth to twins that weighed 6 lbs. each. I have diastasis recti SO bad, it's clearly visible. My stomach is oddly shaped. I can see and feel my bowels. Working out is useless. My lower back pain is so severe, I can barely move when it strikes. I battle with this daily, and one day I'll break down in tears because the pain is unbearable. I can't walk for long periods of time without my back hurting. I hate this! HOW IS THIS COSMETIC?! Please help us!

I don't know what to do anymore
by: Anonymous

I ended up this way when I lost so much weight due to mental health problems and begging for help and not getting any for so long that when I lost my home, my job and had to move back in with family I hadn't eaten in so long when I did it tore my stomach muscles apart.
I’m 23, no kids and underweight.

If I'd have received the help I needed to manage my mental health problems, I would not be in this situation. Now, I have to organise my life around being able to get to a toilet. I have no social life, shake constantly, the stress and fear of eating has meant my hair is falling out completely and my skin on my stomach is stretching because of this so bad that it is sagging and wrinkling / folding permanently.

The nhs won't repair this normally unless you've been very overweight and lost the weight...how is this fair? I haven't spent years mistreating my body and spending loads of money on over eating or collecting benefits for being so big I cant work. I've worked, eaten right, exercised etc and was struck by a mental health condition which resulted in psychosis and was totally beyond my control...and even then I received no help. I'm recovering day by day while working etc still with no support, claiming no benefits etc. How is my situation not worth helping and a person who has consciously eaten their way to morbid obesity then lost weight is worth helping? Is their plight to lose weight considered harder than my plight to manage a psychotic illness with no support?

Without a functioning physical body, my mental health is just so much harder and doing such while working two jobs...its ruining my relationship with my partner too. We've been together almost seven years and now I feel like I've trapped him; he has a partner whose mentally defective and now too physically defective. I love him, but I cant bear for him to see me. We haven't seen each other in six months, because I will not leave my parents house, except to go to my jobs. I have no life. I'm trying so hard to manage the mental health, but feel helpless as to how to 'fix' the physical problems i have.
I used to be toned and mentally well…I’ve lost my previous job, home, mind and now I’m losing the ability to use the bathroom and my partner. I’m 23.

At least if this had been caused by pregnancy I'd have something beautiful and good (a child) from it and people would understand more why my stomach looks how it does. But instead, I was struck by very real madness that has since blighted my life and physical problems I cant fix...and no one will help me with either.

I hurt physically and mentally every day. I just don't know how long I can do this.

Can't take it any longer
by: Anonymous

After suffering for 12 years with this condition after the birth of my 1 and only child, the pain in the abdomen and back is now to the point that death would be easier to deal with than the constant pain. I wish it would end now.

Just had diastasis recti repair 5 days ago
by: Anonymous

My names Alissa and I just had my diastasis recti fixed 5 days ago. I also had an umbilical hernia which was the size of a half dollar. The surgeon did both repairs at the same time. My insurance covered everything, but i think its only because my main surgery was for the hernia. Mine was fixed with mesh and so far, my stomach is still recovering and is very swollen. It is a very painful recovery, I didn't think anything could be worse than my c-section, but I was wrong. I'm still hoping this is all worth it. My diastasis was severely torn from sternum all the way below my belly button and 3 inches wide. All because of one pregnancy, which is rare. And she only weighed 7 lbs 15 oz. It was giving me severe back pain, ab pain, cramps, and slow bowel movements and always looked 6 months preggo. Just disgusting!! So I'll keep ya updated on how it turns out. Doc said there will be a BIG improvement and I will be happy....we will see...

I hope this helps
by: Anonymous

First of all my heart goes out to everyone. I had no idea what was going on with my body, I just thought I was fat. About 3 months PP, I started exercising everyday, eating healthier and still on change in my abdomin. My back begin hurting so I started seeing a chiro and then I started feeling shooting pains across my abdomin. I thought was just pains that went along with working out. . ."no pain, no gain" so I kept at it. Sixty pounds later, it became unbearable so I went to see my dr.

I found out that I had hernia and had it repaired thinking this would help my issue, well it didn't. Not even a year later, I developed another hernia. I thought it was odd that I just had surgery to correct this problem and once again its back. Before going back to the dr I did some research. In many cases people develop a hernia due to their diastasis. I went to my dr armed with this information and asked if they would help me submit the information to my insurance company so that I can get both issues corrected. They denied my claim.

I wrote a letter stating that I had no problem going to each and every specialist, surgeron, chiro or whoever else I need to see to try to get my issue.They will have to pay for the same surgery that costs me $109 and they will be out of $10K so if we have to play this game every year then so be it. The hernia surgery isn't painful and done out-patient so I will gladly have them pay for it every year until they fix the underlying cause of my hernia which is my diastasis. So, you can save the comapny some money and time and approve my surgery.

I am scheduled for surgery on Sept. 15th, so don't give up and stick to your guns because you can get your insurance company to pay. I have to pay my deductible but, I am getting the help I need and the service that I am paying for.

recti diastasis as result of cough
by: Anonymous

I'm a man who has had a "six pack (not worthy of photos)" for most of my adult life. I developed Diastasis Recti as result of a severe cough I caught while on a cruise some years ago. It's hard to believe that this condition isn't considered a hernia since my innards seem to be coming out if I lift anything or flex my abdominal walls in any way. On doctors instructions, I'm no longer allowed to do my usual abdominal exercises, though I still do do exercise specific to the condition (with no improvement of symptoms). Similar protrusions in the lower abdomen are repaired surgically and the surgeries are covered by medical insurance. Hopefully there will someday be an appropriate repair for Diastasis Recti which will be recognized and covered by our various medical insurance plans.

I suffer from back pain and its been 10 years of agony
by: Dina Ozuna

Hi everyone. I suffer from the same problem, I also have 38f cup size which contributes to upper and lower back pain. I thought I was to overweight in the beginning of this back pain starting I weighted 270lbs I lost 100lbs on my own without the lap band or diet pills. It took me about 4 years. But Im still suffering. I cant even turn my neck to the right now. The pain radiates from my tailbone to the back of my head. My insurance with is aetna nap refuses to cover the surgery. I dont know if others have had a bit of incontinance but I have. I believe it the pressure of all this weight not being held by the stomache muscles. I have to buy 12 rolls of ace bandages and wrap myself over and over to relieve this back pain so I can deal with the stress and irritability of this excruciating pain. Sometimes I wish I could end this pain. If it wasnt for my children I probably would.

This is NOT cosmetic!!!
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry to hear all of your pain yet so happy to finally know I am not alone!! I have been suffering with this for years not knowing what it was. Now that I have finally been diagnosed and know the cure I am told its not medically necesary- its called cosmetic?! I've cried almost nonstop ever since. I'm 5'4" and 90lbs. I have no excess skin or fat to be found. I am sick of hearing that exercise can help me. I hated myself for years thinking I must just not be working hard enough whilst doing 300+ situps w/ 75lbs on the bench daily yet still getting asked if I was having a boy or a girl. Turns out exercise aggravates the condition. My excruiating back pain cost me my job. Physical therapy was useless. I became dependent on pain killers. I can't have a BM without manually pushing it out through my vagina and eating is so painful I have to force feed myself and have fell far below a health weight. I live everyday in fear my hernia will become strangulated and I will die but somehow this surgery isn't necesary?

Me too...hopeful but desperate with need!
by: Nilestheninja

I am feeling both comfort and despair when I read these posts; comfort in the fact that we are not alone in our suffering (I am asked DAILY about my non-existent pregnancy). Despair over the fact that the likelihood of my insurance company EVER covering this medically necessary surgery is so small. I had back surgery when my son was a few months old due to the pain (it didn't help, obviously since that WASN'T THE PROBLEM), and take far too many pain meds, I miss out on many of life's blessings due to pain, and I cannot properly use the bathroom (ahem...). I have stomach pain/problems, depression, anxiety, ...would it not b cheaper for them to cover my surgery? Please help! Good luck to all..and take care!

I am a male
by: Anonymous

I have been suffering from low back pain for a decade. Now just diagnosed with a diastasis recti and a second hernia. The back pain is getting worse. I was just treated for a kidney mass and a umblical hernia(frist hernia). Everything went wrong and they oppened me up from belly button to sternum. I also had a perforated colon due to the surgey. Could all of this be related or that oned procedure may have caused the other conditions? So now do not say men do not suffer from this condition which is not true. I understand a corrective procedure is not covered by insurance because its cosmedic, is that 100% true are there any exceptions? But please advise.

One More Voice...
by: Anonymous

Gosh, what can I possibly say that hasn't already been said here? I am grateful to read all these statements and to realize that I am not alone. I've attempted some of the Tuppler exercises, but the regimen is overwhelming at best, since one must change everything...from how you sit and use the toilet, to the number of reps that must be achieved with various exercises everyday. I am a common person of common means. I have a life, not trainers, massage therapists, and the hours and funds needed to focus intensively on exercise routines for several hours a day. In the past 3.5 years, I am averaging PT sessions for back spasms and pain about every 6-7 months. I am currently battling yet another spasm that has sidelined me for a month now. And this after giving up on my career as a graphic designer to take a low-paying teaching assistant job as I thought I could no longer keep a job that was so sedentary. However, that plan is not working either. I am not overweight. I am 5'10" and 157 lbs., but I look 6 mos. pregnant, and am frequently asked if I am pregnant b y total strangers! Sitting is painful, but now, I can't get relief whether I am sitting, standing or trying to sleep! had switched jobs to avoid being too sedentary as I told myself that I just needed to be more active, but now I'm just miserable in a job that doesn't utilize my talents and certainly doesn't pay enough for me to cover a surgery without insurance help. I've complained to PTs, GYNs, MDs, and DOs, and no one gets it. Well, that is no one except those of us who are suffering. Thanks for listening.

Back pain improvement with diastasis recti repair
by: Natalie

I am 35 yrs old and have 2 children. I got a diastasis recti after the 2nd child despite all the core exercises to prevent it. I completely agree that insurance companies need to recognize this condition as a medical necessity when it leads to chronic back pain. I did physical therapy exercises at home every other day (350 abdominal/core exercises and various stretches) and saw a physical therapist 2x/wk for 1.5 yrs to strengthen my core muscles. This only improved the back pain 10-15%. My PT and surgeon advised repairing the diastasis surgically believing the lower back pain would improve 60-75%. My claim was denied by BCBS which is unbelievable to me. My surgeon sent pictures in which shows this was not for cosmetic purposes and he would not need to cut off any excess skin or perform liposuction, it was strictly to repair the muscles. I had the surgery 4 weeks ago & despite the surgical pain, noticed immediate improvement in my lower back pain, which continued after stopping all pain killers.
I am so glad I did the surgery but so upset that this was denied and deemed not a medical necessity. If my back pain was that severe at 35 yrs, imagine what it would have been like at 50! BCBS should have at least offered to pay for a portion of the surgery, but maybe they liked paying $8000/yr for my physical therapy instead.
Of course the physician who denied my claim was a male and has never suffered this problem. I am sure insurance companies are concerned that is they agree to cover this procedure, that women may claim they have back pain d/t their diastasis recti. However, no one would willingly go to physical therapy every week for over a year just to save $500-$1000. Insurance companies should ensure patients have taken all measures to imroved their condition prior to approving for surgery.

diastasis recti and hurna
by: susan

my daughter has just had the operation on the nhs she has 3 babies 4 yrs 2 yrs and 8 mounths old she also had a hurna shes just cam out of operation room so hoping everything goes ok for her bless her has anyone else had the operation would yu let me know please

Recti Diastasis with no children
by: Anonymous

I had this condition but never had any children. In addition, I have not been overweight. My orthopedic doctor, physical therapist and I noticed immediate improvement in my back after my surgery. Eliminated my pelvis instability and lower back pain. I just had the surgery 6 weeks ago. The insurance companies paid for over a decade of PT, orthopedic, and chiropractic work however I was also denied coverage of this procedure. The cost of all of those charges could have paid for my surgery 3 times. My surgeon said that he had not seen an insurance company pay for this since 1981. I am going to appeal the insurance company's denial but I am not encouraged that I will be reimbursed.

It all makes sense!
by: mama mea

Hi there lady's, I thank you all for your info, I too suffer from the same problems. I have three kids 4 years 2 years and 1. I had two c-sections and 1 natural birth. I thought that my abs were like this because of the c-section. I have recently lost 25 pounds, I thought that it would take away my stomach but it seems it's the only thing left that hasn't gone down. I suffer from back pain everyday and I also have IBS. So when you lady's talk about a distended stomach I hear you. I always look like I am pregnant. i would just love to not have to where baggy shirts anymore and not have pain in my back everyday I wake up and play with my kids for too long!!!! I am going to get a tummy tuck and hopefully this will help! I will right back after the tuck. any one know of a great surgeon in vancouver canada?

Help us
by: Doris

There are so many people with this problem. It's so unfare for the insurance companys to say it is not a medical probem. We should all have our voises heard protest march we must do something to fight this harable condition

Severe Back Pain
by: Deb

I have been suffering from severe back pain for 3 years and have pretty much missed the past 3 years of my childrens' lives (10 and 6 years old). I am on tons of pain meds for the back pain. Last week my insurance company denied my request for surgery to repair diastasis recti. My belly looks 12 months pregnant!!!!I look like I am about to pop, no kidding. And to top it off, I have a rectocele problem, so when I have a bowl movement, the resulting pressure only makes things worse! I am too young to give up, but most days I am ready to do so.

your wrong
by: Anonymous

your wrong diastasis recti can be fixed through excercize.. such as the tupler technique!!!!!

I feel your pain ladies
by: Anonymous

I am truly disgusted that this condition is not covered by insurance. I was forced into a c-section with my daughter, and have never been the same since. I never had back pain before the c-section. I am in pain all day, every day. My chronic back pain has caused everything from depression, anger, sadness, and irritability. I can't believe that this is something that insurance companies do not consider worth covering.

Treatment of Diastasis
by: Julie Tupler,RN

I am a Registered Nurse and fitness instructor and author of Lose Your Mummy Tummy. I have the only research out there from Columbia University Program in Physical Therapy confirming the effectiveness of the Tupler Technique in treating diastasis recti. I have been working with women during and after pregnancy with this condition since 1990.

I have a free 30 minute film on the about diastasis page of my website, which will give you lots of information about a diastasis.

Here is the link


I will be starting an online support program in September. Please sign up for my newsletter so I can send you details about the program.

Julie Tupler, RN

by: Elle

I am in the same boat as all you gals and i have heard the surgery is very worth it and necessary from an OBGYN that was petite and had two babies back to back. It is a shame that the insurance is the way it is, but I am starting a hunt to get this resolved for hopefully me and others. I am a yoga teacher who has had to put her life and career on hold because of constant muscle spasm in my back. Are you all experiencing that?

by: Anonymous

I think that the insurance should cover abdominalplasty it can cause far more health problems than people think. My back hurts alot all the time and I didnt do anything to cause the problem except give life to my children. now i suffer from extreme backpain everyday. If I hold the skin up on my abd. my back feels much better but since I have more to do than walk around holding the streched skin what is there for a person to do??????

Any surgery success stories?
by: Anonymous

I'm in the same boat as all of you. I want to hear if the surgery it worth it......anyone?

Need Repair
by: Anonymous

I have been reading all the comments and it upsets me to no the insurance company will not cover this procedure. I have 2 children 9 and 20 and I have been suffering with this problem for years every since I had my 20 year old. I was told by my PCP that I had a hernia but she was incorrect. Because of all the cramping pain,lower back pain,constipation,and filling like something is tearing it cause me to go see a GS for some answers. I was told by the GS I had Recti Diastasis but he wasn't sure the cramping was coming from the recti diastasis and that I should make appt with Gastrologist to see if there something else going on with my stomach. So far all the test they have perform on me have came out normal. (Upper Eigastic,X-ray of the stomach to see were my food was going)I feel if I continue to have test to build a case just maybe I can get the insurance to cover the surgery that I am needing so badly (Recti Diastasis.

Pulled Back OUCH
by: Cindie

First of all I want to start out by saying that I am a very tiny person. I am 4'9" and I weigh about 119. I have had two babies, one is almost 4 and the other is a year and a half. I have now been to two plastic surgeons, two general surgeons, my GP, my OBGYN and a nurse practicener. I have AETNA for insurance and I have been denied so many times that I can't even count. I have about a 2 inch gap running from the bottom of my belly button to almost my sternum. I am in constant pain, and I have already suffered a hurniated belly button last December. I am having a hard time mentally accepting the fact this country's insurance company's can honestly say that this isn't something worth fixing. Right now I am suffering from a pulled muscle in my back, because my muscles in my back are always tense due to my lack of support in my midsection. I look at least 6 mts pregnant and I just wish I could get some help. I am desperate, I can only come up with 2500, for the abdominalplasty. I just wish there were something to be done!!!!

4 babies later...
by: Lisa

I had my 4th baby 6 months ago. Unfortunatley, I had many complications that led me to Mayo. I've been seeing a PT now for almost 3 months. She recently told me that I have a severe case of DR. She feels surgery might be the only way to fix it. Insurance companies need to see the whole picture...look at each case differently...and help us women who want our lives back. I'm so sad to think I might never be physically able to play with my kids the way I want to. The pain is there daily...and I'm often reduced to tears.

Having Surgery on Friday...
by: Jana

I too have diastasis recti and am going in for surgery on Friday. It is considered "cosmetic" in nature and my insurance will not pay for it. The following is a breakdown of my expenses for this surgery:
Surgeon - 4500
Surgery Center - 1600
Anesthesiologist - 1250
Labwork - 120
EKG - 45.00
Prescriptions - 100
Pathology - 100
Abdominal Binder - 50
Surgimend Mesh - 4000 - 9000 depends on size

So this surgery will cost me 12,000 plus. Almost every item must be paid in advance. The mesh used to sew the muscles back together is very pricey. I too believe the insurance companies should pay for this surgery. I have never been the same since the birth of my two large boys and would like to be able to function like I used to.
It is nice to know that there are others (though not too many) that understand what this is like. I hope my information helps and I wish you all the best in feeling better! Good luck to you all! Thanks!

Thank You
by: Anonymous

WOW!! Thank you so much to all of you! It is nice to hear that am not alone. I also have been asked if I am pregnent, or when I am due more times than I could count. For six years everyone says it will go away if I just lost weight, but it has not. I am ready to look into surgery and would really like to know if anyone has had any success with insurance payments. Though I am not in constant pain, but I do experience back pain and difficulty in any action that requires abdominals.
Good Luck to all of you!

They say it shouldn't hurt
by: Anonymous

Please help!!! I have a 5 and a half month old son, who is my first and the love of my life. He came into the world at 7 lb. 7 oz. by scheduled C-section and left me with what has now been diagnosed as severe recti diastasis. I am almost 40 and had previously had surgery to remove fibroids, thus the need for C-section. My main problem is that my distasis is extremely painful!!! Everyone talks of the mummy tummy and the unsightlyness but that is the least of my worries. I have a huge lump behind my belly button, which doctors assure me is not actually a hernia since that is no "tear" in the fascia. However, every day my belly gets bigger and tighter as the day goes on and I have excruciating pain down my midline, in my belly, in my pelvis and in my back. I look like I am six months pregnant while trying to support my internal organs (hanging forward), my son and myself with no functional stomache muscles. No wonder my back hurts LOL. Now the insurance company tells me they won't pay for the only surgery I am told will help, abdominoplasty. They say diastasis should not hurt, but mine does!!! Do you know why this may be? Could it be something else? Is there anything else I can do? I have done the Mommy BeFit exercises and yoga, to no avail. I am truly desperate. By the way I am down to 115 lbs. at 5'4" (lower than pre-baby) so excess weight or fat is not an issue.

Thanks in Advance

11 years of diastasis
by: Anonymous

I am the mother of 3 girls. The oldest is 11, youngest 1 month. I have had diastasis for 11 years and I can tell you it never gets better. I have been asked if I am expecting for 11 years! very hard on my self esteem. As far as back pain, wow do I hear that! I have horrible back pain and some days I cant even get upright. going to fight insurance company! if anyone has any good tactics let me know

been there, hopeful to be out of it
by: Anonymous

The insurance companies, unfortunately, will proabably never cover this surgery. The coverage is getting worse, not better. I had horrible back pain and have had a terrible diastasis after 3 children in 4 years. My youngest was 3 years old, and I realized that no matter how many marathons I could run, My abs will never heal. I had a full tummy tuck, as a woman of normal weight and fair strenghth, and paid out of pocket (painful!). I'm so very weak in the abs, but at the end of the day, I no longer look 6 mos pregnant. The scarring is stil great, but I'm hopeful it will get better.

The surgery is painful and expensive, but we've got to realize that noone is going to help us. We have to do this ourselves.

Any success with appeals?
by: LG

I am crying reading this....everything each of you has shared I am experiencing too and NO ONE understands how debilitating and painful this is. I am in the process of crafting a Level 1 appeal to my insurance company. I have spent hours upon hours researching this condition and trying to gather case study data to include along with photos of my severely distended abdomen (I am 5' 5", 111 pounds, 1 year post-delivery just this past weekend with twins and an almost 3 year old) to share with my insurer along with a detailed letter of how this injury, this defect as a result of pregnancy has negatively impacted nearly every part of my life. I am wondering if any of you have attempted to appeal your insurance co's intital denial of coverage for the abdominoplasty. If so, what did you include in your packet of info and beyond that, have any of you sought a conference call or in-person meeting with the medical directors making the decisions on this at your insurance company? Would love to hear insight you may have. Thanks and best to all of you.

i feel the same
by: Anonymous

first i want you scuse my english.i deliver my girl before 32 months,and feel like i deliver now.the almost 3 year i was doctor by doctor,but nothing,they smile in my face like i'am crazy woman.Or i'am liar.they never beleve me with this pain on the back and abdomen.now when i reading this testimony i cry ,and i know it's real.because the last time when i see my familiy doctor she told me,to see one doctor psihiatrist.maybe my pain it's just in my mind ,it's not real.can you beleve that?ok thank's girls,because i have to share my problems,and i hope somtimes i have the money to make this surgery.if i have some news i contact you.bye.

Me too!
by: Michele

It has been 3 years since I had my almost 9 lbs. daugther, Sofia. I am also torn in my abs and very upset by the sight/feeling of this missing part. I was two weeks overdue and think that I was allowed to go to long. . .I am not even 5" tall! I workout three to four times a week and have a decent diet. . .but nothing, nothing ever changes in my stomach area. In fact, in the past three years I have lost more tightness in my abs and experience the same problem with looking several months pregnant, simply by taking a bite of food or a sip of water!! And I also feel not "put together" since I can never feel my core strength, no matter how hard I work. Glad to know this is a common problem and that others feel insurance should pay some or all of these expenses. . .they have enough money!!

by: Anonymous

I had 2 pregnancies 2 years apart and my last baby was 9 pounds. I did not gain to much weight but maybe because I am 5 feet 1 inches tall my abdomen got destroyed. I have a 5 inches "gap" (diastasis) on my abdominus recti muscle. My daughter is 4 months old and I still look 5 months pregnant. I am going to see a surgeon this month to see if there is anything that I can do under my insurance. I will try to get them to pay for the repair because it is a medical problem. I have horrible lower back pain and I am currently on Physical Therapy and using of an abdominal binder.

Heather...have you had your surgery yet?
by: Melanie

Heather! I have the EXACT issues as you. Have you had your surgery yet? Has it helped??? I would love any feedback you might have!

by: Anonymous

I agree!! I have Diastasis, and I'm so angry that insurance will not cover this. I have been online reading countless testimonies of woman with this condition. It is a necessity.......I don't feel put together! I feel like I have no support. I do Pilates 4 times a week, but it never feels "right". I have lower back pain also!! How can we fight the insurance companies about this cause??

Diastasis Recti
by: Heather

Hi. I just had to comment on this. I have been diagnosed with Diastasis Recti. I have 2 children... a 2 yr old and an 8 month old. The back to back pregnancies is what caused this condition in me. I am 5'6" and have lost most of the baby weight and am down to 140lbs. My abdomen is distended to the size of a six-month pregnant woman and is completely disproportiate to the rest of my body, making wearing clothing nearly impossible. Aside from the self-esteem issues that go along with this condition (walking around looking pregnant when you are not), the health issues are a serious matter. The surgeon described it as a 'huge gap' between my ab muscles that can ONLY be fixed by surgery, which I am having this summer. It was quite a shock to me to find out that the insurance company will not pay for this surgery (in part or in full) because they claim that this condition is benign and causes no health problems....they feel the surgery is only done on people to improve their appeearance.

I wish the insurance executives who make these decisions could visit my bedroom when I wake up each morning in such back pain that I can barely get out of bed. I wish they could see me cringe in pain every time I have to pick up my children or the stroller. I wish they could see my upset at how I cannot do activities that I always have done because I fear something hitting my abdomen-where there are no muscles covering my organs which are protruding outward. If this condition happened to their wives or daughters and they could see first hand the health effect it has on a person, perhaps then they would deem the repair as being 'medically necessary'.

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