Is Subcostal Rib Removal Surgery A Good Procedure For Me?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 21 years old and have scoliosis. My ribs stick out very far and aren’t even. I was thinking about rib removal but I wanted to know if you think it’s the right procedure for me. I am very insecure and have always wanted to have a normal torso. 

A: Thank you for your inquiry and sending your picture. You have subcostal rib protrusion which is not rare and is very common in patients with scoliosis. The scoliosis usually makes ones one side stick out further than the other. But like any patient with anterior subcostal rib protrusion the question is not whether they can have rib removal surgery but whether the aesthetic tradeoff to do so is a worthy one. I am specifically referring to the fine line scar on each side which would lie right along the protrusion and be about 6 cms long on each side. I always ask this question to every patient because such a scar location is in a non-hidden location and you want to be sure that you don’t tradeoff one problem for another one you may dislike just as much. I am not saying it is a bad scar or is not a better tradeoff, it is simply the question that each patient has to answer for themselves as that answer determines the benefits of the procedure for any patient.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana