Diastasis recti

Definition of Diastasis recti

Diastasis recti is a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle, which covers the front surface of the belly area.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Diastasis recti is a common and normal condition in newborns. It is seen most frequently in premature and African American infants.

Symptoms

A diastasis recti looks like a ridge, which runs down the middle of the belly area. It stretches from the bottom of the breastbone to the belly button, and increases with muscle straining.

Signs and tests

The doctor can diagnose this condition by performing a physical exam.

Treatment

No treatment is needed for pregnant women with this condition.

Expectations (prognosis)

The patient usually does very well. In most cases, diastasis recti usually heals on its own.

Review

Deirdre O’Reilly, MD, MPH, Neonatologist, Division of Newborn Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston and Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. – 10/15/2007

Diastasis recti

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

Article written by

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability.