Cher did not remove her ribs
Celebrities have plastic surgery all the time, of course (and it’s not just celebrities now either!). Cher has even admitted to having work done on her teeth, nose and breasts. And using artificial means to get the appearance of a smaller waist go back much farther than the eighties – the corsets the Victorians wore, anyone? So with that in mind, it seems a lot less far fetched to suggest that some of the iconically slim celebrities we know and love might have had their ribs removed. We can inflate breasts, shorten toes and split our tongues in half – what’s to say we can’t pluck out a rib or two as well?
Britney, looking slim and svelte.
The thing we all want to know is it true? Well, yes and no. There is no evidence whatsoever that any of the starlets accused of removing their ribs have actually done so – and if we take Cher’s physician at her word, quite a bit of evidence aginst it. For example, in the case of Britney Spears, I think we can now conclude after watching her fluctuating weight for the past five or six years, that her ribs all remain in tact. However, though the rumored celebrities may have never had it done, rib removal surgery is a real thing.
Many believe that the practice of rib removal surgery began with the corset-loving Victorians, but there is no evidence to suggest this (and many experts on Victorian fashion and aesthetics disregard the entire belief, deeming it silly). In the modern era however, it’s real. Considered an extreme practice by most, and with extremely few formally documented cases, it is indeed possible to shrink somebody’s waist by surgically removing their lowest two ribs. It is a permanent, irreversible procedure – ribs don’t grow back. Somewhat more common (though still rare) is a procedure called “rib resection” – a section of rib is removed, sometimes to treat cancer or a similarly damaging disease, or to obtain bone for a bone graft.
Very few plastic surgeons will perform rib removal surgery, so if you’re looking to lose weight the surgical way it’s a better bet to place your hopes on liposuction instead.