There can sometimes be confusion regarding the difference between a hernia and diastasis recti. Although they may have similar symptoms, they are both quite different from each other. Questions as to the difference between the two most often come from pregnant women. Women that are pregnant have both a higher likelihood of developing both a hernia and diastasis recti. At Hernia Surgery Los Angeles, our expert surgeons offer the best available diagnosis and treatment options for both conditions.

What Is a Hernia?

A hernia is a condition in which an organ or tissue protrudes through an opening or weak spot of the surrounding muscle, membrane, or connective tissue that normally holds the organ in place. There are a variety of factors that can that can lead to the development of a hernia. Hernias are common with pregnant women because of the pressure exerted on their abdominal walls throughout pregnancy.

What is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis recti is a condition that involves the separation of the rectus abdominis muscle (“abs”) into two halves. This is also referred to as abdominal separation. These abdominal muscles are normally connected by the linea alba, a structure that runs down the midline of the abdomen. Diastasis recti involves the stretching of the linea alba, creating a spacing in between the two abdominal muscle halves.  This is most often seen in pregnant women due to the stretching of these muscles by the growing fetus. When women have given birth multiple times, their likelihood increases because of the repeated stretching. Diastasis Recti is also referred to as abdominal separation.

How Are They Similar?

Diastasis recti is regularly confused for a hernia by some patients. When a person has this separation of the abdominal muscles, it’s normal for a bulge to appear in the abdomen when lying flat or sitting up. Because most hernias appear as bulges, it can be hard to distinguish between the two.

How Are They Different?

Fortunately for those suffering from diastasis recti, it’s not a dangerous condition. Hernias, however, can be. Not only can hernias cause adverse symptoms like pain, they can have the tendency of causing greater problems down the road. While it’s common for hernias to be repaired in order to prevent further health risks, diastasis recti is usually only repaired for cosmetic reasons. Surgery is not required for diastasis recti.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between a Hernia and Diastasis Recti?

Since the symptoms can be similar, it can be hard to distinguish between the two. It’s important to make an appointment with an expert in order to be properly diagnosed. During the appointment, a doctor will conduct a physical exam and possibly an ultrasound in order to reach a proper diagnosis.

Contact Hernia Surgery Los Angeles

Although similar in symptoms, both hernias and diastasis recti are two very different conditions. It is important to speak with a medical expert if you have any concern over possible symptoms of either condition. At Hernia Surgery Los Angeles, our surgeons are very experienced with diagnosing and treating both hernias and diastasis recti. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please call (888) 418-2082.

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