Can The Cartilage Protrusion On My Upper Chest Be Reduced?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I read your post about rib shaving surgery ( However when trying to do research online I cannot find any doctors who do this kind of surgery. I have a cartilage protrusion at the connection of my 3rd rib with the sternum, as well as my second rib protruding outwards greatly after an injury. 

I was wondering if you perform this kind of surgery and if you also know of any other doctors that perform this kind of surgery as well. Why is this surgery not more widespread for cartilage protrusions?

A: I have removed hundreds of ribs for aesthetic purposes and may be one of the few, if only, surgeon in the world that does so. But, quite frankly, I can’t imagine the incision and resultant scar to shave down your upper chest rib protrusion (costochondral junction of rib #3) would be a good aesthetic tradeoff… small as that incision may be. So the question is not whether it can be done but whether a small scar in a highly visible location would be viewed as a less noticeable aesthetic problem.

Dr. Barry Eppley

World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon