Can Reduction of An Oblique Abdominal Muscle Be Done?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a question regarding the relationship between hips and obliques and the appearance of hip narrowing/making tiny differences in width of the one oblique on my body. Obviously I know illac crest shaving is a potential option which will slightly pull in the hip which is last resort for me, but I am wondering what are other potential ways to have a similar effect even if tiny? I have a very large oblique muscle on one side of my body (the right) that is overdeveloped due to overtraining and tons of pressure on it for years due to the way I sit, stand, do things, etc , would atrophying that muscle (through botox, radio frequency, or electrocautery) cause it to appear a bit narrower? I know flatter, which is what i’m looking for bc its a large bump but does overdeveloping the oblique make the hip push out more because the bone had to grow with the muscle growth? I’m just wondering if that area of the illac crest and oblique muscle would slightly shrink in length if the oblique was overdeveloped and was atrophied alot. Also if you have any other suggestions to either appear or produce small differences in the length of my oblique muscle/crest, it would make me very happy. I have postural issues and functional issues that cause me to lean in a way that pushes out my right hip/oblique and im assuming seeing a pelvic specialist could make a small difference as well. I”m really looking for just a bunch of small things that could each make a tiny difference. 

A: I don’t think there is much of a relationship between hip bone size and the oblique abdominal muscle despite that some of its insertion is onto the outer lip of the anterior iliac crest. Certainly shrinking the oblique muscle  will not change the shape of the iliac crest in an adult. The only approach that would produce a positive change would be surgical reduction of the oblique muscle (debulking) and a little shaving of the iliac crest all done through the same small incision. Releasing the attachments of the oblique to the crest will ultimately cause it to atrophy.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana