Diastasis Recti Surgery Photos

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Photos from Before, During, and (soon to come) After Recovery from Diastasis Recti Surgery

This is a collection of photos from my recent diastasis recti surgery experience. I apologize for the poor photo quality, I was taking them with the camera on my phone and the lighting is not so great in some places. I didn’t even know I would be writing about all this at the time. I must warn you, the photos are VERY GRAPHIC. They’re gross. Please, only look if you really want to. You’ve been warned. :)

If you do happen to want a better look, you can click on the photos for a larger version.

The Night Before

This is my stomach the night before the surgery. Note the myriad stretch marks, the double hernia. The big gaping hole that is (was) my belly button. Sorry about the weird shadows from my arms.

diastasis recti surgery before and after


48 Hours After Surgery

This was before my first shower, which was allowed 48 hours after the surgery. This was when I was allowed to take off the bandages, although I had to keep on the Steri-strips for several more weeks.

diastasis recti surgery before and after


And here I am without the bandages. There is a hole in me with a tube sticking out which drained blood and fluid. Gross. My abdomen was swollen for quite a while after the surgery.

diastasis recti surgery before and after


Four Days After Surgery

Here is a little more of a close-up. The drain was actually stitched to my skin, and I thought that was weird. Let me stop and say something here. Yes, I realize that the incision is crooked. I want to remind you that this was not a plastic surgery; I was never very concerned about how the scar was going to look. I mean, ANYTHING would have been an improvement, don’t you agree? I also have to stick up for my surgeon here and tell you how difficult it must have been to take all that stretched out skin and cut it out and tighten me up without being able to hide the scar under a panty line. I was very pleased that she took the extra effort to try and tighten up the sagginess and make me look a bit more normal. Even though, it’s true, I have no more belly button.

diastasis recti surgery before and after

One Week Post-Op

The doctor removed the drain at my one week appointment. Belly still very swollen.

diastasis recti surgery before and after

Two Weeks Post-Op

Here you can see my stomach is looking a little cleaner. There is a little dimple there to this day from the drain. Interesting.

diastasis recti surgery before and after

One month post-op – Infection Photos

I started taking photos less frequently because there was not really much change from day to day. Until this day. This is where I had just removed my Steri-strips and taken a good look at my inflamed, very PAINFUL belly. Looking back on this, I can’t believe I couldn’t tell this was infected. I must have been in serious denial. Although, in my defense, the Steri-strips were covering a good deal of the redness. I can still remember how much pain I was in and how sick I felt. :(

It’s worth noting that the bottom of the incision was healing up nicely.

diastasis recti surgery before and after


Here I look like a stab wound victim. This is what I woke up to after my nap; I removed my binder to see blood everywhere. And it stunk, sooooo bad.

diastasis recti surgery before and after


I had to put pressure on my stomach and a lot of stinky junk came out. Ugh, this is so gross.

diastasis recti surgery before and after

A hole in my incision. :( Total sadness.

diastasis recti surgery before and after


As part of my treatment at home, in addition to serious antibiotics, I had to pour hydrogen peroxide into the now-widened hole in my incision. The cavity caused by the hematoma was much larger underneath the skin. I had to stuff gauze into the cavity twice, and eventually three times a day so it would soak up the infection. Disgusting. This was about seven weeks after the surgery and about three weeks after the explosion.

diastasis recti surgery before and after


Here is my wound, two weeks later, after the cavity had healed and closed up a great deal. This is about what it looks like at the time of writing. There is still a hole in the middle of the wound that leads to a cavity that I just cannot seem to stop draining junk.

diastasis recti surgery before and after


Here is the wound, all closed in, six months(!) post-op. Infection gone! The scar is a dark pink because it’s actually a stretch mark! My new incision stretched so much from the buildup that my scar turned dark-colored and shiny. Weird. I will take more pictures in several months to show how the scar is healing.

scar six months after diastasis recti surgery



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  1. I just read your ordeal & am scared to death now to have my recti repaired. My surgeon promised me no netting or mesh. He said he could sew me up from, then he ran his finger from my belly button to the top of my abdomen, but 1st. I’m having bariatric surgery as I’m 5′ tall & weigh 240lbs., so no one can see it now but they will when the weight comes falling off, so why have the 1st. surgery if I’m going to have to walk around with this thing sticking out of my belly. I will make him sign something promising not to use the net or any mesh as I believe that’s what gave way in your situation. I can’t believe they let you keep it clean and empty all on your own. I guess I’m glad I live in Mi. where we have one of the best medical schools, hospitals in the country. I’ll be following you. Please keep us posted & thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Tracy! I hope your surgery goes well!! In my case, it wasn’t the mesh that caused the problem. It was when I received a large bruise on my surgery site. It was basically like a hematoma – the blood pooled in the site and eventually became infected. :( Thank goodness it’s healed now!!
      Thanks for the follow! :) Sometimes I can’t believe they made me clean it all myself, but I guess it is what it is. Thanks for stopping by. <3

      • Hello! I am having my surgery tomorrow. My insurance would not cover a tummy tuck so I’ve opted to just have the muscles and umbilical hernia repaired. I am very nervous and haven’t found much information. I have a question for you: Is your abdomen noticeably slimmer? I am over being asked if I’m expecting. My third child is now seven months old. lol.

        • Hi Felicia! I’m sorry it took me several days to get back to you; I’ve been away from the computer. My abdomen is noticeably slimmer. My surgeon must have removed a lot of skin. My baby was seven months or so when I had the surgery too. The only problem was, I had the surgery before I lost all my baby weight, so after losing my baby weight, my skin is a little baggy again. I think it would have been best to wait but hey, what’s done is done. :)

  2. Megan Rogers says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'd never heard of this in my life and am now speaking to a surgeon in a week to get the ball rolling on stitching my abs up as well. It's great to hear your story from beginning to end and see photos. I'd love to see more pictures of how things are healing up if you're willing to post them. Someone else mentioned this below as well– but I am also tired of being asked when I'm due!

    • Thanks Megan!! I have been meaning to add more pictures of how things have healed up. Thank you for reminding me! Good luck with meeting with your surgeon – I hope you can find some relief. It has really made a difference in my day-to-day life. And yes – no more pregnancy inquiries, is very nice. :)

  3. You are very brave to share your experience and I am glad you did. I just had this surgery, however, my hernia wasn’t as stretched out as yours. Personally speaking (as an RN) I would have some serious doubts about this doctor. The drain was removed too soon – obviously! I just saw my surgeon yesterday (one wk post-op) and he left the drain in bcs it was draining too much. I’m very sorry you had such a bad experience and would like to see it healed up completely. Good luck and be careful with your tummy. Google about strengthening those muscles! It says not to do crunches! Look it up – ok. Good luck and be careful!

    • Thank you for your comment. I can’t believe with all this, I never realized the drain was taken out too soon. Duh! How could I have missed that. LOL. Thanks for pointing that out. My tummy does feel great these days – there is a lot of saggy skin left over from the operation but as far as my muscles go, I feel so much better. I don’t really do anything to stress them too much, just like to play it safe. But it sure beats having them separated like they were! Best wishes on your recovery!!!


  1. […] hours after the surgery, I was permitted to take off my bandages and shower. I have pictures of my stomach before and after taking off the bandages here. Please be aware, they are a little graphic. Only look if you really want […]

  2. […] You can view before, during, and after pics here. […]

  3. […] You can view before, during, and after pics here. […]

  4. […] You can view before, during, and after pictures here. […]

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