Rib Removal Surgery Questions

Q: Dr. Eppley, I continue to think about rib removal surgery and had a couple of additional questions for you if you don’t mind:

-For resections of 3 ribs (10-12), do you use the same incision or multiple incisions to remove the 3 ribs?

-Have you ever had to use mesh to close?

Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my emails. I really appreciate it.

A: In answer to your rib removal surgery questions:

1) The same incision is used to remove the posterior ends of the lower ribs whether it is one, two or three ribs. Proper placement of the incision is critical when all three lower ribs are removed on each side. The incisional length is usually about 5 to 5.5 cms in an oblique orientation on the low back.

2) There is never a need to use any synthetic material to close the deeper tissues after rib removal. This is not a procedure that can cause a hernia. Rib removal does not cause a posterior abdominal wall hernia, if it is properly done, as it preserves the integrity of the subperiosteal tissues beneath it.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana