Is Torso Narrowing Possible?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a cis woman and I have a very wide torso, my ribcage is very large, I would like to know if there is a way to remove ribs 11, 10, 9 and shave the ribs above without interfering with the subcostal nerve.

A: There are two surgical methods of torso narrowing via rib removal, the lateral approach and the vertical midline back approach.

In the lateral incisional approach ribs 10 and 11 can be removed as well as maybe part of 9. (depending on the location of the pleura) But at least rib 9 can be shaved down. Higher level ribs can be shaved down but the lateral incision needed to do so gets longer.

In the vertical midline back approach, which is used in weight loss patients or those who have loose back skin a vertical elliptical excision of back skin is done (which pulls the sides of the torso in considerably) and ribs 10 and 11 removed.

In either approach removal of the lateral border of the latissimus dorsi muscle is done which is another essential element of torso narrowing.

Dr. Barry Eppley

World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon