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Every now and again, Lifehacker asks a medical professional the health questions that you wish an expert would answer but you can't quite bring yourself to ask. Today, we're helping out a reader who has a very personal and intimate butt question.


Of all the physical indignities of having a baby -- the delivery, the breastfeeding, the mesh undies that made me feel like an enormous wounded sea creature snagged in a tiny net -- the postpartum stomach pooch is among the worst. For many of us, our distended abdomens deflate eventually, given time and maybe a little exercise. But for everyone else, the pooch remains staunchly... poochy, an unpleasant remnant of a difficult time. It's a condition called diastasis recti, or the separation of one's abdominal muscles, and, at least it my case, it made me look six months pregnant well after delivery.


From the headlines, prescription painkillers sound pretty scary. Some of the people who take them switch to heroin, and some die of overdoses. The problem is so bad that the US FDA has mandated black-box warning labels about the risk of abuse. But at the same time, these drugs are common and useful tools to manage pain.