Can I have hernia/ diastasis repair if I want more children later?
by shy_violet, Mar 26, 2009
After my second child, I was left with a hernia.  I am not sure what sort - my dr said diastasis and hernia but didn't specify which kind.  

My Symptoms:
1.  Golfball sized lump just behind and above my belly button and a smaller lump which hangs out over my belly button.
2.  Stomach is flat in the morning (other than belly button).  After a couple of hours, a ridge appears under my ribs, as if the bottom part of my ribs were opening.  Looks almost like I am pregnant but only the top part of my stomach
3.  Intense burning that goes through the bottom of my rib cage, the entire belly button area and finally(as a result of struggling to hold myself upright) back spasms.  It is the sort of pain where you do not want to move and can't think about anything else, not just an ache.  
The only way to relieve the pain is to either lie flat on my back or wrap something tightly around myself.  I have been using a rubber waist cincher and it helps greatly.

My doctor said that we will wait until I am done having children to fix this.  I am not feeling the urge for another baby for at least 5 years.  But I can't imagine having to go through this pain and wear rubber tubing for 5 years.  I am (or was) very athletic. I still sprint a couple of times a week and lift weights but I want to start powerlifting again among other sports - my midsection just can't support anything like that now.

1.  How invasive is a surgery for something like this?   I was reading about hernia surgery and it seems some are just done by laser - but I am guessing that mine be more involved than that?  
2.  If I were to get the surgery now, can I still have children later, or will it be too hard to repeat the surgical procedure once undone?

I am in the Cosmetic Surgery section for this because my dr was going to set me up with a Cosmetic/General surgeon when it came time to do the surgery. Thank you!

by Howard Rosenberg, MDBlank, Apr 01, 2009
You may have a separation of the rectus abdominal muscles (rectus diastasis) and possible also an umbilical hernia.  The diastasis is typically repaired at the time of a tummy tuck.  The umbilical hernia can be done weparately or at the time of a tummy tuck.  Pregnancy after repair of the diastasis will probably result in stretching of the rectus fascia and recurrent likelihood of weak protruding abdominal wall.  It certainly can be done at this time, but that is your risk.
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Member Comments (3)
by shy_violet, Apr 28, 2009
Thanks for your response.  I went to the dr and your answer above was right on.  I am having hernia surgery this Friday by a general surgeon.  He has offered to remove the loose skin when he does the hernia surgery.

Is it ok to have skin removal done by a general surgeon?  I am concerned because will be making the incision horizontally right along where my belly button was.  He said the more skin he takes, the wider the incision will be and suggested we only remove some skin to avoid a big scar.  Would this be one of those faint white scars that I could cover with makeup, or one of those raised red Frankenstein scars?  If he does leave a giant scar, is there anything I can do cosmetically to fix?  Insurance is covering so it is tempting, but I would like to compete in figure again and don't want to do something to myself that can't be fixed.  Also, would my belly button look normal after a hernia repair or would that require something cosmetic?      I don't really have a belly button right now.

Basically, what would a general surgeon do differently than a PS that I should be taking into consideration, and is there anything the general surgeon might do that might make it harder to do  a TT later?  Thank you again.
by Howard Rosenberg, MDBlank, Apr 29, 2009
While a general surgeon is capable of repairing the hernias and could remove excess skin, I would recommend that any skin resection be performed in conjunction with a plastic surgeon.  There are subtleties involved with skin resection that may be more apparent to a trained plastic surgeon, than to a general surgeon.