How Many Ribs Can Be Safely Taken From The Lower Ribcage?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am transsexual and have a very boxy torso as seen in the pictures attached, I have read through Dr. Eppley’s numerous blog posts and seen some amazing improvements, however, I am worried that my torso may not be able to be sufficiently feminised. Along with the usual 12, 11 and 10 rib and latissimus muscle strip removals, would it be possible to remove ribs 9 and 8 as well? I’m unsure if its the 9th or 8th rib primarily contributing to my boxy torso but its one of them. I’m aware of the complexities of rib removals while trying not to disrupt nerves and as Dr. Eppley mentioned, the pleura; could Dr. Eppley shave down rib 9 or 8 or both completely in order to remove them instead of using the traditional cutting methods used for the other ribs? I know in the blog posts its been mentioned that rib 9 has been shaved, I understand it wasn’t completely shaved to the point it was removed, though I could be wrong.

I am not particularly concerned with scars and am willing to go the extra mile to fix my body. 

A: It is not prudent to remove 5 levels of the ribcae  of which a portion of the rib rejmoval  lies directly over the lower 1/3 of the lung. However ribs #8 and #9 could be shaved thin with removal of the overlying LD muscle which would be safer and provide some benefit.

Dr. Barry Eppley

World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon