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Are you interested in knowing how much is rib removal surgery? If so, then you are in the right page. Feel relaxed and make sure you read the article to the end.

how much is rib removal surgery

Rib removal is a complex surgery. The ribs are close to underlying organs. If not performed properly, there exists a risk of injury to organs. While most plastic surgeons can perform rib removal, they do not have the experience or level of training as thoracic surgeons in this region of the body. Likewise, while a thoracic surgeon can perform a breast augmentation, you probably wouldn’t want your lung surgeon doing it. That’s why Dr. Neavin is one of the top rib removal surgeons in the area.

Rib removal, also known as rib resection, or floating rib removal, has gained popularity in the last several years. Wasp waists and hourglass shapes have again become the aesthetic ideal. While in Victorian fashion this was achieved with laced corsets, today this can be achieved with surgery by removing the “floating” lower ribs, numbers 11 and 12.

Rib removal involves the resection of the lower ribs that frame the upper abdomen. With the addition of liposuction to the lower waist and love handle, significantly slimmer waists can be safely achieved in experienced hands.

What is rib removal surgery?

Rib removal is a somewhat controversial major surgery that removes one or more ribs, either to address a medical condition or as a cosmetic procedure that creates an hourglass figure, like a Victorian-era corset once did.

It’s sometimes also called rib resection, a technique that entails removing part of a rib.


Rumors of celebrities like Cher and Marilyn Manson undergoing this surgery have made it a topic of discussion for many who are interested in body modification. However, while some board-certified plastic surgeons will perform this procedure, there’s disagreement within the medical community regarding its safety.

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Liposuction (sometimes paired with a tummy tuck) tends to be a preferred option, since it comes with fewer risks.

Why would someone have a rib removed?

Rib removal can help people with medical conditions like rib asymmetry or iliocostalis syndrome, where friction from the lower ribs irritates the soft tissue of the iliac crest.

Cancer, injury, and thoracic outlet syndrome (a disorder that develops when blood vessels or nerves are compressed) are other medical reasons people seek out procedure.

In some cases, a portion of the rib bone is removed to be used in a bone graft for reconstructive surgery.

Some people seek out rib removal surgery to create a smaller waist. Transgender women in particular sometimes opt for rib removal surgery to create a more traditionally feminine silhouette. In these situations, rib removal is sometime paired with a tummy tuck, Brazilian butt lift, and/or breast augmentation, for full body contouring.


How does rib removal surgery work?

Rib removal surgery techniques and methods depend on your surgeon’s preferences, your anatomy, and whether the surgery is done for medical or cosmetic reasons.

The procedure will always be performed under general anesthesia, with an overnight hospital stay and an at-home recovery period of several weeks.

The bottom ribs (the 11th and 12th ribs), are commonly called the floating ribs because they don’t attach to the sternum (or breastbone) in the way that the first ribs do. When viewing an x-ray of your upper body, you can see that these bottom ribs don’t attach to the front of the ribcage at all—only the back.

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That makes it less risky to remove these bottom ribs than it would be to remove ribs higher up on the ribcage, so they can be safely removed by an experienced, board-certified surgeon.

According to NYU Health, a surgeon can make an incision above the clavicle or under the arm, cut and remove the ribs, and then close the incision with sutures or surgical glue.

When it’s done for body modification reasons and there’s a strong desire to avoid scarring, this cosmetic surgery involves making small incisions on both sides of the spine, cutting the rib where it attaches to the back of the ribcage, and carefully working the removed rib out through the incisions. This method comes with a greater risk of perforating the thorax and internal organs (like a lung), which is why so many plastic surgeons don’t perform it.

Is rib removal painful?

You’ll be under general anesthesia for the surgery, so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. However, the ribs are a sensitive area, so yes, there’s pain involved in the recovery. You can expect to have swelling, bruising, and soreness for a few weeks after surgery.

“Rib surgery is very painful and can produce long term tenderness when a rib is broken or cut,” says Dallas, Texas plastic surgeon Dr. David Morales.

Your surgeon will likely prescribe pain medication for the first several days of your recovery. After that, you can take over-the-counter pain meds to help keep you comfortable.

Is rib removal surgery safe?

Rib removal surgery can be done safely, but how safe it is depends on your surgeon’s technique and level of experience. There may be a risk of damage to your organs, including a collapsed lung. Like every surgical procedure, it also carries risks of infection, seroma, or hematoma.


When the question of safety has been asked on RealSelf, doctors’ opinions are split.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Tim Neavin of Beverly Hills, California, says the procedure “is safe if performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon.”

Dr. Robert Singer, a plastic surgeon in La Jolla, California, says rib removal surgery comes with “significant risks” that prevent him from recommending it as a cosmetic procedure. Dr. Singer also says he believes most patients who contact him about rib removal surgery have some form of body dysmorphia, a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

How much does it cost to have a rib removed?

Costs can vary widely, depending on your surgeon’s level of experience, their practice location, and whether the plastic surgery is purely cosmetic.

If it’s being done to correct a documented medical condition, your insurance plan may cover a portion of your cost.

Given the complexity of the procedure, the price of rib removal (11 and 12) costs $25,000.

What are the pros and cons of rib removal?


  • People with certain medical conditions, such as iliocostalis syndrome or thoracic outlet syndrome,can benefit from rib resection to alleviate their symptoms.
  • This procedure can also create a dramatic contrast between the size of the waistline and hips, giving patients an extreme hourglass figure or “wasp waist.”


  • Rib removal surgery comes with serious risks, including the possibility of perforated internal organs.
  • Because the procedure is so controversial, it can be difficult to find an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who is willing to perform it. Many people seek rib removal surgery overseas where safety protocols tend to be less stringent. This can increase your chances of complications.

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