Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Diastasis Recti: Surgery and Recovery Part 3

So, I have been slowly recovering for eleven months. I don't think everyone's surgeon is as thorough and intense as mine was. I also don't think others get the individual attention that I have gotten for the past year. My doctor goes above and beyond to check on recovery.
Exercise is a vital part of my life, and I lost a lot of strength. I started the road to recovery with light body weight exercise and yoga. It was amazing to me how weak I was and how inflexible I had become. The abdominal wall functions differently now, and is still not able to completely hold my weight. I can not, for instance, hang from my hands. It even took me a while to be able to leave the ground again. You don't realize how much you have to hold in the abdominals for basic movement until you lose that mobility. Balance was another issue. My back was in a rounded and stiff position for about 16 weeks before I felt like I was at least standing straight, and I still do not have much mobility hyperextending the spine past vertical. Yoga is my best friend in redeveloping this. Being able to be in plank position again was a big goal of mine. I can now hold plank for a couple of minutes, but still nothing like I used to be. It is like I inherited an all new body. My tummy is all pulled in tight and sewn together, but it lost its mobility and strength.
Today, I went back in for a follow up. You can see and feel all of the stitches that hold down the hernia repair mesh. One of them that is prominent has caused a lot of discomfort over this year, so my doctor offered to snip that one stitch out in a simple office visit. Well, it was not such an easy thing (is it ever?), and he could not get the stitch out. The local anesthesia caused the tissue around the stitch to swell too much. So, he covered that area with some of my tissue he pulled over, and then covered it with a synthetic tissue. I am again in a hunched position and hurting, but after what I have been through, this is a walk in the park. I hope this is the last process.
My doctor prescribed some tape-like medicine for the scars. It is called Cordon. I wear it over all of the scars every day, and in about 8 weeks, the scars have become flat and the redness is much reduced. He says the end result will be barely detectable scars. That's a wow, right? The scars run from hip to hip with a dip down the hip bone and straight across the lower pelvis, also a cut vertically in the lower pelvis, and a new navel.
So, in all, Diastasis friends, I would recommend this surgery to people who have a diastasis as advanced as mine was, and who have a hernia in it. Otherwise, I would recommend Julie's process (www.diastasisrehab.com), and help from a post natal trainer (like me!). It is a VERY extensive process to get the surgery, and should be elected as a last result or emergency.


Karin said...

Thank you for your posting. I also had a very extensive diastasis recti as a result of 6 preg. I am petite and the baby weights ranged from 8 to 11 lbs. My surgery was like yours although he did not put in the mesh but I can feel suture lines. I am only 4 weeks out and the bulge along the incision site goes from mild to severe. He is considering going back in to place a mesh along the lower ab area if this doesn't auto correct. I am a medical CMT with an extensive practice and need to be at my game physically. This has process has been difficult and although I would love to hear there are all positive thoughts on the surgery I appreciated reading that the recovery is extensive and not think instant results.

Karin said...
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Karin said...

I have tried to find the Cordon ?(cream/tape) to no avail. on the internet for more information. Is it prescription?

Carriefit said...

Ask your doctor. It is a prescription. I am off of it now, and I still have pretty major scars. Giving it time!