Rib Removal Surgery

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in rib removal surgery. How many ribs can a patient have removed all together? I’ve read about your procedure and I would like more ribs removed, rather than just: 10, 11, or 12. I have very strong, prominent, wide ribs that I no longer wish to have. Wearing tight jackets and tight tops make my appearance look much worst. Can you remove more ribs than just these six? What is the cost of this surgery?? 

A: The main purpose of rib removal surgery in most cases is to narrow the waistline. Ribs #10, 11 , and 12 are the only ones that have any impact on the anatomic waist. Further rib removal (#8 and #9) will not change the shape of the waistline. In addition while the cartilaginous portions of ribs #8 and #9 can be removed, they require a different incisional approach to remove which is either done by a direct incision over them or through a tummy tuck incision.

I would need to see pictures of your torso and for you to point out the ribs that you see as a problem. But rib removal surgery is limited to the lower end of the ribcage with an emphasis on making the anatomic waistline more defined…which is about at the level of the belly button.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana