Mesh abdominoplasty for rectus diastasis in women and men

Hernia. 2021 Aug;25(4):863-870. doi: 10.1007/s10029-021-02461-1. Epub 2021 Aug 3.


Purpose: Meshes clearly have improved outcomes for tissue approximation over suture repairs for incisional hernias. A knowledge gap exists as to the surgical complication rate and post-operative outcomes of a mesh rectus diastasis repair with a narrow well-fixed mesh that simultaneously narrows the rectus muscles and closes the widened linea alba.

Methods: Inclusion criteria for mesh abdominoplasty were patients who (1) underwent a retrorectus planar mesh for repair of rectus diastasis (2) did not have a concurrent incisional hernia and (3) underwent skin tailoring as part of a cosmetic aspect of their care. The primary endpoint was surgical site occurrence (SSO) at any time after surgery as determined with review of their office and hospital medical records. Secondary endpoints included the length and complexity of the return to the operating room for any reason, non-surgical complications, readmission, post-operative recovery, surgical site infection, recurrence/persistence of abdominal wall laxity, and soft tissue revision rates.

Results: SSO rate was 0% for the 56 patients who underwent this procedure. There were 40 women and 16 men. Superficial infections requiring oral antibiotics were required in three patients. One was a drain site erythema, one was for a superficial stitch abscess, and the third was for a mesh strip knot infection 6 months after the procedure. One patient underwent further tightening of the abdominal wall. Rates of soft tissue revision in the office for improved cosmesis were 23% in women and 6% in men.

Conclusion: Repair of rectus diastasis with a narrow well-fixed mesh and concurrent skin abdominoplasty is a well-tolerated and reliable procedure with low recurrence and low SSO in the manner described. It is a procedure that works for both female and male pattern rectus diastasis, and has become our procedure of choice for moderate and severe rectus diastasis.

Keywords: Abdominoplasty; Mesh; Pull-through; Retrorectus.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Wall* / surgery
  • Abdominoplasty* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hernia, Ventral* / surgery
  • Herniorrhaphy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rectus Abdominis / surgery
  • Recurrence
  • Surgical Mesh