Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a rib reshaping surgery question. I was just wondering if its possible to alter the total size of the ribcage, like to make it narrower or wider at the bust point? I’ve heard you perform rib removal surgeries, but as far as i’m aware that only affects the lower part of the ribcage towards the waist.
A: I have been asked that question may times over the years about ribcage modification or rib reshaping surgery and the answer is no. Rib removal surgery is done for either horizontal waistline reduction or vertical waistline elongation. But the middle and upper portions of the ribcage can neither be narrowed or augmented as this portion of the ribcage is important for lung function. Any ribs that lie below the apices of the lungs can be reduced for a body contouring effect. But any ribs that wrap around the lungs are needed for support to allow the lungs to expand and contract through the muscular action of the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm.
Dr. Barry Eppley