What is linea alba?

Linea alba is an anatomical structure that connects the left and right rectus abdominis muscles. Loads or pressures within the abdominal cavity can cause its separation.

It is visible along the middle part of the abdomen: the bulge is especially visible when we lie down and want to get up, lifting the upper half of the body as when performing the so-called crunches.

Linea alba dehiscence: should it be treated?

Abdominal rectus diastasis leads to a change in the shape of the abdomen. Also, it can cause pain in the lower lumbar spine, because it negatively affects the trunk statics.

Surgical reconstruction:

  • restores the position of the rectus abdominis muscles (together with the treatment of the umbilical hernia);
  • protects the linea alba against recurrence of dehiscence by implanting a hernial mesh;
  • does not damage rectus sheaths: we do not use hernial meshes in the sub-lay position, but we sew them onto the anterior sheath of the muscle (on-lay position); this placement of the implant completely protects the function of the rectus muscles;
  • it is conducted with peritoneal continuity (without open abdomen) – it is especially important for adhesion prevention;
  • it is a one-time procedure.

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Surgical reconstruction of linea alba dehiscence

The operation takes about 2 hours. It is performed under general anaesthesia.

The operation involves making several (usually three) small skin incisions in the lower abdomen. Subcutaneously (but above the fascia) special trocars (tubes) are put in. Then, a camera and specialized surgical tools are inserted through these tubes. The surgeon, looking at the monitor, performs the operation using these special tools. Surgeon reconstructs the linea alba and then implants the implant to protect the linea alba against possible recurrence of dehiscence. The mesh used is usually made of a non-absorbable synthetic material (usually polypropylene or polyester). The surgeon will make the choice of mesh type and size. The mesh is fixed with non-absorbable sutures.

At the Medicover Hospital surgeries of linea alba dehiscence are performed by an experienced operator, Andrzej Lehmann MD PhD

Recommendations after linea alba dehiscence surgery: 

  • No physical activity for 6 weeks.
  • Hernia belt (30 cm wide, velcro-fastened) must be worn for 6 weeks (weeks 1 & 2: non-stop; the following 4 weeks: when walking).

Contraindications to the surgery of linea alba dehiscence

  • The main contraindication to surgery is any contraindication to general anaesthesia.
  • Other contraindications include active cancers, kidney and liver diseases, and coagulation disorders.
  • All infections must be treated before the procedure.
  • The final decision about surgery is always made by the doctor.

Post-operative effects and possible complications

Due to the large areas of skin flap preparation and the reconstruction of the linea alba, pain may occur after the procedure. However, strong painkillers are given to relieve this pain.

After the procedure, waistline restoring thanks to linea alba reconstruction as well as the disappearance of the unsightly bulge (this kind of a tent-like shape on the stomach) can be expected. After the procedure, small scars remains in the lower abdomen. The effects after the treatment are natural and aesthetic. The effect of surgery is visible immediately after the operation, but the final effect is visible after complete healing of the wound, i.e. after about two months.

Possible post-operative complications may be related to anaesthesia and the operation itself.

The risk of recurrence of linea alba dehiscence with mesh is low: 1-10%

The risk of hematoma is 1-15%; this is usually treated conservatively; large hematomas after operations are rarely observed; they may be accompanied by extensive bruising of the skin of the abdomen and perineum, lasting even for several days.

Seroma is a collection of serous fluid in the wound, the risk of seroma formation varies from 0.5% to 12.2%; most seromas are spontaneously absorbed within 6-8 weeks, so they do not require surgical intervention; sometimes it may be necessary to puncture and drain the seroma.

Does the procedure need to be repeated?

This is a one-time procedure. However, it should be highlighted that weight gain, poor diet, or getting pregnant again can make the problem recur.


Contact us to learn more about our offer and get more details
Call 500 900 900
or fill in the form – and we will call you back.

Szpital Medicover
Aleja Rzeczypospolitej 5
02-972 Warszawa