Happy new year everyone? I hope your 2019 is better than your 2018. 2 years ago I found out that my abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) never closed after childbirth and the only way to correct it is through surgery. The NHS is struggling financially, so it classes surgeries for diastasis recti as plastic surgery and would not cover it. So I am now looking for surgeons for diastasis recti repair.
What do I see when I look in the mirror?
I think I am a good size/shape for my height but the last few days, all I see whenever I look in the mirror is this big bulge at the top of my tummy that just doesn’t want to go away even when I’m wearing large baggy tee shirts. I try to be positive but I feel that it’s the new year and I really should do something about it. I know that I am a million miles away from being vain but I would be honest and say that this is affecting how I see myself.
After several conversations with my GP, it has been decided that I should go private but that’s where the problem lies. After reading through a lot of websites, they all tend to do full abdominoplasties (tummy tuck) but that’s not what I’m looking for.
This is the 21st century and I know that it is possible to stitch the abdominal muscles back together laparoscopically but I have not been able to find such a centre in the UK. Are there really no surgeons for diastasis recti repair that carry out the procedure laparoscopically?
Laparoscopy is a type of surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen (tummy) and pelvis without having to make large incisions in the skin. This procedure is also known as keyhole surgery or minimally invasive surgery. Large incisions can be avoided during laparoscopy because the surgeon uses an instrument called a laparoscope. This is a small tube that has a light source and a camera, which relays images of the inside of the abdomen or pelvis to a television monitor. The advantages of this technique over traditional open surgery include:
- a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery time
- less pain and bleeding after the operation
- reduced scarring
As a lone parent, I don’t see the need to subject myself to a major surgery when a minimally invasive procedure should be available. As I have to fund the operation myself, there’s no need to increase my costs by having me stay longer in the hospital if it can be avoided and pay a nanny for a longer period than is necessary. My household bills aren’t going to pay themselves whilst I am not earning an income as a freelance writer.
I read that you can have physio to try to close the gap between your abdominal muscles and I have seen a physio on two separate occasions but they both insisted on working on my back pain symptoms only. I read that I can’t even do regular exercise because it could make the gap between my abdominal muscles wider.
Pregnancy and childbirth complications
Let’s not talk about the symptoms I’m having or the risk of a hernia in future. You might say that the risk is rare but honestly, I have had rare things happen to me so my optimism is low. For instance, during childbirth, I had postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) and lost 2000mls of blood but it is estimated that PPH occurs in 1 to 5 percent of deliveries. I never imagined that I would ever fall into such a category.
I think people do not talk about the complications of pregnancy as much as they should because of fear that the human race would go extinct.
Wait, did I read somewhere that the population in some Asian countries are decreasing? I’ll go Google that after this post.
Anyhoos, back to what I was saying. I was ‘lucky’ to not have had any morning sickness during pregnancy but I had the biggest baby bump ever. People kept saying that I looked like I was having twins. My centre of gravity changed and I tumbled down the stairs several times where I used to live. I had pelvic girdle pain, so walking was a struggle. No wonder mother nature gives some women temporary amnesia and they forget everything they went through the first time.
Is the US an option
A friend recommended that I go to the US to do the op but after weighing the costs of travel etc, I estimate that it is no cheaper than having the op in the UK. Currently, I would be looking to pay anything between £6000 to £12000, depending on the surgeon and the hospital for a full abdominoplasty. Especially in the US, as I would be coming from a different continent, I would need to pay for everything upfront.
So I am hoping the power of the internet can help me out and maybe, just maybe, someone knows a plastic surgeon who does reconstructive surgery that would be willing to stitch back my abdominal muscles using a laparoscopic technique.
Adoption is definitely an option for the future
Yes I have my daughter now, yes she’s amazing but knowing what I know now, I definitely would not intentionally risk my life in the name of being a mother. As long as I have the money, I WOULD SO FREAKING ADOPT! As far as I’m concerned any human being who is capable of genuine love can love and nurture a child whether or not the child shares DNA with you. My daughter has asked for a sibling, so I told her to pray that I get some money, then we can adopt.
That said, here’s a poster I designed for a previous blog post where my now 4yo helps me out at home. It kinda makes up for my deconstructed body.
Do you know any surgeons for diastasis recti repair?
Anyhoos, if you are a surgeon in the UK (or possibly the US) and can carry out a diastasis recti repair laparoscopically, please leave a comment below or send me an email via my contact form.
If you know any surgeons for diastasis recti, please leave a comment below with the link to their website or share this post with the surgeon and ask them to get in touch if they can carry out laparoscopic reconstructive surgery.
If I cannot find such a surgeon, I guess I would have no option but to go for a regular abdominoplasty *sob* *sob* and ask everyone I know to kindly support me. I know I do not have £10,000 just sitting idly in my bank account, heck I don’t even have £1000 sitting in my bank account waiting to be spent. I have read up on UK medical insurance and none that I have seen so far cover diastasis recti repair, though a couple did mention that they may cover reconstructive plastic surgeries. From my little knowledge of insurance companies, they look for every opportunity to not pay out, so I would rather just keep my pennies to myself.
Maybe someone who has read this post would help me start a fundraiser or better still you can support me by making a donation to my podcast The Segilola Salami Show
Honestly, if you have any useful information that may help me, please leave a comment below. Many thanks in advance
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