Long-term follow-up of correction of rectus diastasis

Author(s): Nahas FX, Ferreira LM, Augusto SM, Ghelfond C


Background: Correction of rectus diastasis is a procedure performed by most surgeons during abdominoplasty. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the long-term efficacy of the correction of rectus diastasis when plication of the anterior rectus sheath is performed with a nonabsorbable suture.

Methods: Twelve female patients who underwent abdominoplasty were studied. Rectus diastasis was measured preoperatively with two computed tomographic scan slices: one above and one below the umbilicus. The bony levels where the slices were obtained served as a reference for the postoperative computed tomographic scans. During the operation, rectus diastasis was measured at the same levels as the preoperative scan slices. At the same time, the necessary force to bring the medial edge of the rectus muscle to the midline was measured with a dynamometer. Postoperative scans were obtained at 3 weeks and 6 months after the operation. A long-term follow-up scan was obtained from 76 to 84 months postoperatively for every patient.

Results: The 3-week postoperative scan proved that the correction of rectus diastasis had been achieved by the procedure. Despite the fact that there were different levels of abdominal wall resistance and that the average weight gain in this period was 6.5 kg, the long-term computed tomographic scans showed that there was no recurrence of rectus diastasis in any patient of this series, both in the superior and inferior abdomen.

Conclusions: Plication of the anterior rectus sheath with nonabsorbable suture appears to be a long-lasting procedure for correcting rectus diastasis.

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