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  • Umbilical hernia + diastasis

    Posted by Lonzworth on May 14, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Hello, 37 year old male construction worker here.

    I noticed a small squishy lump above my navel in January and it was diagnosed as a hernia. I had a mesh-less repair done in February.
    Followed up a week post-op and had the bandage removed. Doc said everything looked good. I returned to work 3 weeks later. Since my job is labor intensive, I also had the surgeon check it out two weeks after returning to work. Again, everything looked good, but was informed that I most likely also have diastasis.

    About a week ago, I noticed that the squishy lump has returned. It goes away when pressed in, but then instantly resurfaces with any type of movement.

    I purchased an ab splint and have been doing transverse abs exercises, as well as consuming 100g of protein per day (I go the gym 6 days a week).
    Wondering if the muscle breakdown that occurs with exercise + the protein that rebuilds it + the ab splint will help the tissue regrow closer together in the hope that I can avoid another surgery.
    If my home grown remedy is unsuccessful by August, I was planning to revisit my surgeon.

    What kind of procedure and recovery time would I be looking at to surgically repair that double whammy?

    Thank you for your time,

    drtowfigh replied 7 years, 11 months ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • DrEarle

    May 15, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Umbilical hernia + diastasis

    Lonnie – You mentioned diastasis in you title, but nothing else. A diastasis is when you do a “crunch”, and it looks like a big bulge from your breast bone all the way to the belly button. This can vary in size. It is of no physiologic or anatomic consequence whatsoever. It does drastically increase the risk of recurrence after mesh-less umbilical or epigastric hernia repair, which you had. There are many mesh products specifically designed for this type of repair, and you should have one of these placed if you’re going for another repair. It will not get better with anything except an operation. If you choose to watch it a while, that’s fine. Seek medical attention if starting to cause pain/discomfort, or enlarging in size. When I get to another computer, I’ll post an article written for surgeons that you may find interesting. It has some photos of these mesh products in it. In the mean time, you may find this article interesting.

  • drtowfigh

    May 15, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Umbilical hernia + diastasis

    This is a difficult problem. Hernias that occur within a diastasis (separation) of the Rectus muscle have a higher recurrence rate. In my practice, in the right type of patient, I robotically repair these and do a diastasis repair to protect the repair and reduce the risk of hernia recurrence. It’s a much much bigger operation, which is why I don’t perform it routinely for every patient.

    At this stage, exercises you are doing will help reduce the chance the hernia will get bigger, but won’t cure it.

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