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Postpartum Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Specialist

M. Shane Dawson, MD, FACS -  - General Surgery

M. Shane Dawson, MD, FACS

General Surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery & Robotic Surgery located in Upper East Side, New York, NY

Welcoming a new child into your family is a wonderful thing, but the process places a great deal of strain on a mother’s body. M. Shane Dawson, MD, FACS, offers postpartum abdominal wall reconstruction to women from in and around New York’s Upper East Side. If you find yourself in need of pregnancy-related hernia care, request an appointment at your earliest convenience. Online appointment requests make it easy to find a time that fits your busy schedule, or you can always call the New York City office to check availability.

Postpartum Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Q & A

What are postpartum hernias?

Pregnancy places enormous strain on your body, especially in the structures of your abdomen. As your baby grows, additional pressure develops, and there is simply nowhere for that pressure to go but in an outward or downward direction.

Postpartum hernias develop when pressure causes an organ to squeeze through a weak spot in your abdominal wall. An umbilical hernia is one example and happens when part of your intestine protrudes in or around your belly button.

If you delivered your child via cesarean section, you might develop an incisional hernia near the incision line.   

How does a postpartum abdominal wall reconstruction treat postpartum hernias?

If your pregnancy-related hernia is small and isn’t causing significant problems, you may only need to keep a close eye on it and visit M. Shane Dawson, MD, FACS, if changes occur. If you’re already having symptoms that get in the way of your normal routine, then hernia repair surgery may be warranted.

One approach involves using surgical mesh to strengthen an area of weakened tissue. The mesh is secured in place and helps prevent organ displacement. Another option involves suturing a gap in your muscle or connective tissues.

Dr. Dawson completes a thorough assessment of your postpartum hernia and overall health before determining the best treatment option for postpartum abdominal wall reconstruction.

What is diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti is a common condition among pregnant women. It occurs when the pressure caused by your expanding belly causes the muscles in the right and left sides of your abdomen to separate in the center. That creates a widening space between your abdominal wall muscles that can cause your belly to protrude, even after you’ve lost the baby weight and healed from delivery.

Left untreated, diastasis recti can lead to numerous health problems like constipation, lower back pain, and urinary incontinence. This muscle separation can sometimes shrink a bit, but will not fully heal on its own.

Abdominal wall reconstruction is a surgical procedure that reconnects your left and right abdominal muscles to restore proper abdominal alignment. It can address both postpartum hernias and diastasis recti.

This approach differs from a tummy tuck, which involves the removal of excess fat and skin and the repositioning of your belly button to create a more refined stomach profile. If you have questions about the aesthetics of this procedure, discuss your concerns with Dr. Dawson during your consultation.

To learn more about your options for treating postpartum abdominal wall reconstruction, request an appointment at the office of M. Shane Dawson, MD, FACS, online or over the phone.