diastasis recti / Fitness / Health / Top Posts / Women

Diastasis/Umbilical Hernia Repair: Post-Surgery Photo Log

When people ask me if the surgery to repair my abdominal diastasis and umbilical hernia was worth it, I occasionally hesitate.

The recovery is far from easy, the scar spans the entire width of my abdomen, and I still am dealing with minor little niggles here and there (incision itching, skin and muscle tightness, abdominal pain and soreness, spitting sutures, a seroma that won’t seem to drain, and numerous irrational worries).

But then I look at the before and after photos and can’t help but answer with a resounding

YESSSSSS. It was worth it and then some.

Because I realize it didn’t take long for me to forget what I was dealing with before surgery: guts that felt like they might spill out on the floor, low back pain, abdominal pain, core weakness, a stomach that looked 13 months pregnant…

But the pictures are worth a whole boat load of words.

The stark contrast reminds me of precisely why I needed this surgery in the first place. Despite all of the minor annoyances I’m dealing with now, the pictures remind me that I should feel nothing but gratitude for having had the opportunity to do it.



The before and after shots…’nuff said


I was amazed by how flat my stomach was immediately after surgery. I actually had very little swelling this first week, but would swell more in subsequent weeks. This was the day I got my drains out and when I developed the seroma in my lower abdomen.


That “ball” below the incision line is the seroma. I started developing some bruising and swelling at this point.


By two weeks I noticed a big difference in my energy and comfort level. I was still mostly confined to the house, but was able to walk with just a slight hunch as opposed to seriously bent over


This picture was at the end of the day and I was really swollen. In the evenings I could feel the swelling coming on, especially once I started working out more. This week I started walking or riding a recumbent bike up to an hour each day.


I ran a mile nonstop this week! But I still felt pretty unstable in my abdomen and continued to wear the belly binder during the day, although I might take it off for bed.


By 6 weeks I finally felt comfortable enough to take the belly binder off for good, even for workouts. I was running pretty regularly at this point (up to 2 miles at a time), doing the elliptical, and riding my road bike. Swimming still was pretty painful; flip turns were out of the question


Took this last week. I’ve noticed the swelling has really started to go down. I’ve started doing gentle ab work (planks, yoga, pilates, TVA exercises) and am starting to get some functional core strength back; definitely not ready for crunches or sit ups yet. But I’m totally unrestricted as far as running and biking, and even swimming feels pretty good now (flip turns are still sketchy). While I’m still not at 100%, especially with running and swimming, I’m back on my training plan for the Kona Ironman! At this point I still have tightness in my abdomen (from the muscle plication and the skin removal), and some pain if I put too much strain on my abs. Overall I’m feeling really good at 8 weeks! The initial recovery was harder than I thought, but the speed of the recovery has been WAY faster than I expected.



30 thoughts on “Diastasis/Umbilical Hernia Repair: Post-Surgery Photo Log

  1. Hi
    I have umbilical hernia and diastesis also . Met with a general surgeon today who said he could do the hernia surgery but not the diastesis. Going to also go get opinion of plastic surgeon . Curious if insurance paid for any of your surgery? My stomach looks exactly like yours…. before that is .
    It doesn’t make sense for me to get just one repaired and not the other at the same time.


  2. Hi, first off, you look great! I’m meeting with a plastic surgeon next month to discuss my options, my diastasis recto is over a 5 finger gap and it has caused so many problems and I’m just ready to feel better. I do have a question though, any reason why your surgeon chose to do a higher incision rather than below the pantry line?


  3. Hi Abigail Ortiz, sorry I switched web hosts and many of my recent comments didn’t transfer over, I saw your question in my inbox and wanted to respond. Here’s your post and my response:

    Hi do you go to a general surgeon fir this problem or plastic surgeon?

    Hi Abigail! I consulted with a plastic surgeon and was told that most general surgeons will not perform an abdominoplasty–they’ll refer you to a PS. Since I also had a hernia repair, however, my Plastic surgeon needed to have a general surgeon assist on that part of the procedure. Hope that made sense!


  4. Oh my goodness friend I have been out of the loop and didn’t realize you were dealing with such a huge surgery and recovery. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, but wow those pictures sure show what a need it was. I hope you are feeling better. Wish I could bring you some soup and cookies. Miss you!


  5. You are one tough momma and such an inspiration! Here i am, not recovering from any surgery and barely able to get myself out the door to walk, much less run, bike and swim! 😂 you go girl, love reading your blog!


    • Thanks mama K! I’ve been really careful to not overdo it–I definitely went into surgery with a healthy respect for how intense the procedure is!


    • Thanks Angelica! I hated that this condition is so common but there’s a serious lack of information out there about it. Keep me updated on your DR!


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