Rib Removal Surgery for Waistline Reduction

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in rib removal surgery for waistline reduction. I want to make way since I’m not near you for an in person consult and email should be enough for now.

1: Referencing the picture of the ribs in this reply could you tell me precisely what the surgery entails? Is it just cartilage or the entire rib? Making sure we’re on the same page the primary reason for this surgery is waistline reduction; so completely elective and doing it for myself only.

2: Regarding aesthetics/scars what are we talking here? Where or how will the cut be as I see the people on your site and some scars look fine. I’m used to various elective surgical scars over the years and have come to accept them. It also sounds like there are options in how extensive of a surgery I’m able to choose.

3: How much does this cost and what hospital does it take place at?

4: How’s recovery and should I know anything special regarding flying before/after such as how soon can I return to work or how much pain there’ll be? I’m only a few states away and my current job is very white collar low physical.

5: Will liposuction be performed or can that be done separately later on if I decide that’s something I want to pursue with a local center? I’m mainly interested in the core procedure since I’m already a twig to begin with. Weight gain has never been an issue of mine.

6: Figure I’d throw this out here, but should I bother making a claim to insurance to get it potentially covered in any way?

7: Assuming I’m ok with all this after having time to think some more, do you do a final in person consult before surgery to know precisely how much to take out? We’ve never met in person so you only know what I sent you pictures of.

8: Do you accept payment plans? Some plastic surgery centers offer cosmetic credit cards or payment plans to allow patients to get their procedures sooner and work on paying it off in their own time later.

Thank you.

A: It is not clear to me whether you are referring to anterior or posterior rib removals which are done for different reasons. Posterior rib removals is done for horizontal waistline reduction while anterior rib removals are done for verticals waistline lengthening and/or removal of subcostal rib protrusions. In answering your questions I will assume you are referring to posterior rib removals.

1) In posterior rib removals, the outer calfs of ribs #10,11 and 12are taken. (see attached picture)

2) These are 5 cm obliquely oriented scars on the back. (see attached picture)

3) My assistant Camille will pass along the cost of the surgery to you later today. This is done in my surgery center not a hospital.

4) Recovery is really about comfort and getting back to doing things normal which will take a few weeks. There are no restrictions after surgery. Most people can return to work in ten days after the procedure.

5) Posterior rib removal always includes flank liposuction as well as rib removals.

6) This surgery would not be able be covered by insurance, this is an elective cosmetic procedure.

7) The amount of rib removal is the same one each person, the outer half of the rib is removed back to the erector spinal muscle.

8) My assistant Camille can answer all logistical questions about the surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana