Rib Removal

Q: Dr. Eppley, I would like to ask about rib removal surgery. How many ribs will be extracted if I want a thinner waist as well as a longer torso. Also, I’d like to know about post surgical pain and recovery period. Thanks.

A: Thank you for your inquiry. Rib removal surgery is a collection of procedures designed to treat various torso issues. There are ribs removed to narrow the waistline (ribs 10,11,12) or to vertically lengthen the waistline. (rib #s 7,8,9) The lower ribs are removed through incisions on the back while the upper ribs are removed through incisions on the front. If both are done at once as many as portions 12 ribs can be removed.  (ribs are not totally removed only portions of them are) I would need to see pictures of your waistline/torso to determine if either of these ribcage modification procedures are appropriate for you.

Postoperative discomfort is managed by the use of intraoperatively placed Exparel injections as nerve and muscle blocks that last as long as three days after surgery. This goes a long way in helping control what would otherwise be an uncomfortable experience.Recovery depends on what type of physical activity one is trying to recover for.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana