Rib removal surgery is designed to help reduce the waistline usually around the level of the umbilicus. (belly button) The way I have developed the procedure it is a multi-tissue removal procedure including flank fat, latissimus dorsi muscle and the outer halfs of ribs #11 and #12. (and if the funds permit #10 as well) To no surprise this causes a fair amount of localized tissue trauma for which postoperative compression is a helpful reshaping need to optimize the waist narrowing results.
At the conclusion of surgery I always place a standard velcro circumferential waist wrap to provide some immediate light compression. This initial wrap is not designed to provide longer term sustained compression. It is for light initial compression that is tolerable given the initial discomfort that jus to be expected right after surgery. Often drains are used in the rib removal sites for a day or two after the surgery. Between the drains and the early recovery after the surgery the initial wrap will have limited use and cleanliness.
Once one feels more comfortable 7 to 10 days after the surgery I like patients to get into a better compressive body shaper garment. This will help to not only push out the swelling but will also help reshape the soft tissues as they shrink and heal months after the surgery. There are many such garments available on the internet at very reasonable costs to do so. One such garment that I have seen that would be useful in postoperative waist compression/reshaping is the Cooper Fit Core Shaper. It is designed to provide a non-surgical and temporary waist reshaping result. While it wasn’t developed for postoperative waist compression per se, its dual band design is extremely helpful for this purpose.
While I have no economic incentive/benefit for writing about the benefits of this specific waist shaper garment, what I do care about is what is going to help my patients get the best results from rib removal surgery or any other mid-torso surgeries as well. Its thin design and with the ability to pull the sides of the waist inward can only help patients get the best surgical waist reshaping result. I recommend that patients use waist shaper/trainer garments for several months after the surgery.
Dr. Barry Eppley
World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon