Is My Weight An Issue For Shoulder Narrowing Surgery?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in shoulder narrowing surgery. I have been very impressed with the results presented on your website and, as far as I’m aware, most people who had undergone this surgery seem to be rather happy with their outcomes. I would like to ask you a few questions about this surgery:

1. As I am currently a bit underweight, I would like to know whether I need to gain more healthy weight before proceeding with the surgery itself, for an easier recovery process. Is that correct? (I will provide all the measurements below)

2. If I understand correctly, reducing the clavicle bone length would slightly roll the shoulders forward. Should I try to compensate for this effect by exercising my core back muscles before and/or after surgery? On a similar note, would using a posture corrector after the clavicles heal enough be of any use in correcting the posture initially?

3. Lastly, I would like to know whether having a smaller ribcage and quite broad shoulders allow for a slightly greater clavicle width reduction.

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 110lbs

Thank you for your time and consideration.

A:In answer to our shoulder narrowing surgery questions:

  1. One’s weight is irrelevant to the surgery. The thickness of the soft tissues over the clavicle has no bearing on doing the surgery.
  2. Your weight is less important than your nutritional health. If in doubt you check your protein and albumin levels which are indicators of the ability of tissues to heal.
  3. The rolling in of the shoulders is a temporary effect of the postoperative positioning of the arms in recovery. It is not a long term effect.
  4. The amount of clavicle bone that can be removed is related to the length and shape of the clavicles, the width of the ribcage has no bearing on how much clavicle bone can be removed.

Dr. Barry Eppley

World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon