Are Your Organs Still Protected After Rib Removal Surgery?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am very interested in hip implants and rib removal/rib resection surgery for a smaller waist and longer torso done by you. A few questions regarding rib removal surgery. 

1. Can one reproduce after such surgery? 

2. What are the most common risks/long term side effects associated with such surgery? 

3. Can one resume physical activities such as yoga, working out, swimming and rock climbing after they are fully recovered? 

4. Are the organs still protected, are they at more risk of being damaged after such surgery? Can one still breathe properly for the rest of their life after such surgery?

A: Thank you for your inquiry and your very good questions to which I can say the following:

1) Rib removal surgery does not interfere with one’s ability to get pregnant.

2) The most common risks really come down to two issues, 1) acceptance of small back scars to do the surgery and 2) unpredictability of how much waistline reduction can be achieved.

3) There are no physical activity restrictions when one is fully recovered.

4) Since rib removal is subtotal there is no loss of organ protection or risk of organ injury as well as there is no short or long-term pulmonary dysfunction.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana