Pot belly: Is it a hernia or a diastasis, or… BOTH?

The look of it is like a bowl that was slid underneath my belly button. I’ve had a good month and a half to wonder about, and fret over what is happening inside my belly to cause this. I finally scheduled a surgical consultation to find out what the heck…

Matt & I met with a surgeon at St. Vincent’s in Portland, and got the lowdown on my disfigured tummy. The verdict: A hernia… AND diastasis!?! Well, why choose between the two when I can have both! That has been my fundemental philosophy since birth, mainly when it comes to desserts, but it also seems to be true for medical conditions. For example, many years ago my dentist informed me that rather than the standard four wisdom teeth, I had six, which would all be removed at once. (A little extra Percodan for me!) There are some ways which you DON’T want to be special.


A hernia happens when the delicate lining of the abdomen pushes through damaged abdominal wall, as how an inner tube pushes through a damaged tire. About 600,000 hernia surgeries are performed around the US every year. The two methods used to treat hernias are “open”, where a full incision opens up the abdominal wall; or “laparoscopic”, where small incisions allow the surgeon to perform the fixes through small tubes without a large opening being necessary. Hernias will not get better over time. Here’s more on hernias.


Laparoscopic Surgery


Laparoscopic Equipment


Laparoscopic Equipment


Hernia Mesh


A diastasis happens occasionally during pregnancies or rarely after an abdominal surgery. When the abdominal muscles separate down the center, due to access during a surgical entry, and the delicate facia tears, the muscles spread apart allowing organs to push between the muscle wall. This is not my tummy pictured, but the doctor was able to do this to my belly. More on diastases.



This procedure will be painful, I am told, it can be out-patient, but I will likely stay over night in the hospital, then it will take two to four weeks before I will be active again. It is a simple and quick procedure, and it is covered by insurance. Very likely I will schedule it for late October

There goes Halloween!

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