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Rib removal surgery is the end stage approach to waistline reduction. When every other conventional means has failed to achieve the desired effect, tissue support removal below the subcutaneous fat level is the last barrier to more narrow waistline. Surprising perhaps to some, patients that seek this surgery usually already have fairly small waistlines. Their motivation is to either give their otherwise straight body profile some shape (e.g., female with a boyish body shape), create more of an ‘extreme’ waist shape (e.g., after prior BBL surgery) or to help magnify the size of their upper body frame or hips. (e.g., body builder)

One of the common questions for rib removal patients is whether they will need to wear a waist trainer after surgery. The general answer is it is not an absolute requirement but that comes with several caveats. If one happens to be corsetting before surgery, then this is an excellent means of postoperative soft tissue molding therapy. It can be worn as soon as one feels comfortable to do so which is usually no later than one week or so after the surgery. (although I have seen some patients apply them the next day after surgery) The waistline cinch effect that a corset applies is unparalleled in terms of squeezing out swelling and maximally adapting the waistline soft tissues to creating the desired effect as soon as after surgery as possible.


If one is not using preoperative corsets, and most patients are not, the next best thing is to buy a waist trainer to use after surgery. Unlike a corset, a waist trainer applies compression across the whole torso. There are innumerable types available on the internet that are relatively inexpensive. While a traditional circumferential abdominal binder will be applied right after the surgery this is never as good as a waist trainer. While an abdominal binder also applies general torso compression a waist trainer is a bit more focused and undoubtably a more comfortable garment to be worn for longer periods to time after surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

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