Divarication or diastasis of the rectus muscles is a condition where the two vertical muscles of the front of the abdomen ‘- [‘6 pack’], separate (you may remember them from once upon a time), They are supposed to lie close together with a thin elastic membrane or strip of tissue about 0.5cm wide between them, but sometimes the membrane stretches, and they separate. The anatomical term for the strip of tissue is the linea alba – the white line.

As you sit up from lying down you see a vertical ridge rise up, running from the bottom of your breast bone to your navel.

The condition may look worry but it is harmless and painless. If you have pain or discomfort it is likely to be due to some other condition. Don’t have it surgically corrected.

I received this email in July 2011 –

I have recently been looking at your website and wonder if you could give me any advice.

Over the last 4 years i have had a divarication of the recti muscle operation carried out 4 times and the latest result is shown in the pdf above. I am still suffering in pain and not happy with 2 large lumps in my stomach. The fist time was by an incompetent surgeon who did not use any mesh. The other operations involved using what the surgeon referred to as “pig skin” but has not resolved the problem in my opinion.
My age is 66years and I am overweight weighing 17 stone, height 5ft 7inches. Male

I repeat – I Don’t have it surgically corrected.