Abdominal bulge not always a hernia.
One year ago, I thought I had a hernia. My doctor, however, said I had a condition called diastasis recti. It has to do with the lining of the wall of the stomach.
I am writing to ask you two questions: What is this all about, and do I just have to live with it?
Some days I feel well; other days I am very tender in some areas of the abdomen. When I lie flat and put my hand over an area on the left side above the belly button, a bulge comes up that fills my hand. I would appreciate seeing my answer in The Saturday Evening Post.
West Salem, Wisconsin
A hernia occurs when part of the intestine slips through an opening in the abdominal wall. In people with diastasis recti, or DR, the abdominal wall may bulge between two halves of the rectus abdominis muscle (see picture above right). As you describe, the bulge stretches from the breastbone to the belly button on the right or left side of the abdomen.
Doctors say that most cases of diastasis recti do not re quire surgery. The condition may affect anyone but is more common in newborns and women with multiple pregnancies.
Some experts suggest wrapping a long scarf or towel around the waist (under the clothing) to help bring together the muscle edges. Ready-made splints are available from Maternal Fitness at 212-353-1947 or maternalfitness.com. Click on "shop" and then "TuplerWear Splint."