Can My Fractured Xiphoid Process Be Removed During A Tummy Tuck?

Q: Dr. Eppley,  my first pregnancy was one very big baby for my little body. My stomach was completely stretched out like a big balloon. It got so big at the top of my stomach that it fractured the end of my sternum. It now sticks out and I am told it is called the xiphoid bone. Whatever it is called it now sticks out a little but but what is really bothersome is tht it moves around. and hurts when I stretch too much or bend over. I want to get a tummy tuck and was wondering if this could be fixed at the same time. However while researching the topic I couldn’t find anywhere that the two can be done together. You seem to be very creative and innovative so I was wondering if you could repair/remove it while performing a tummy tuck?

A: Fracturing of the xiphoid process from a large pregnancy is not a common problem but it certainly can happen. The xiphoid process is a small stick of bone that is attached to the end of the sternum which can become outwardly fractured with a consistent mass effect from below. Just because you did not find a simultaneous xiphoid process excision and tummy tuck on the internet does not mean that it is not done and I am certain many plastic surgeons have done them. It is easily done during a tummy tuck because at the upper end of the rectus fascial plication (muscle repair) sits the end of the sternum. So removal of the loose xiphoid process is easily done as it is right there. This does not lengthen the recovery or cause any prolonged pain after a tummy tuck.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana