Model Pixee Fox removed six ribs in an attempt to look like a real life cartoon and break the record for smallest waist in the world, but some say the procedure is unethical, and worry about Fox's mental health.
"Rib removal has been a dream of mine for years," Fox told FOX411. "I want to have the exaggerated curves you see in pin-up cartoons like Jessica Rabbit."
The Indiana-based surgeon who performed the procedure, Dr. Barry Eppley, spoke to FOX411 about the risks of the cosmetic procedure.
“Rib removal is almost an urban myth dating back to the 1970s when Cher was rumored to have had it. But it is done," he said. "I just did a rib removal surgery on another woman after Pixee who removed even more ribs than her. It just seems extreme because it is the only plastic surgery other than liposuction [that removes] normal body parts, so it seems extreme."
He explained during surgery parts of the 11th or 12th rib is removed, and very rarely the 10th rib that protects the kidneys.
“Rib 10 covers a bit of the kidney. In the typical person you’re not losing protections of your organs," he said. "I wouldn’t recommend it for an athlete though.”
Fox, who's shooting for a 14-inch waist, agrees its not for everyone.
"Yes, it is extreme. Rib removal is not something I would recommend to anyone unless they have already gotten to a very low body fat , had a butt lift, extensively tight-laced, and plan to keep tight-lacing for the rest of their life," she said. "You have to be willing to give up extreme sports and other risky activities. If you gain weight, it will look awful, so you have to keep a low percentage of body fat all the time. And it's irreversible. So you have to know this is something you really want to do!"
But Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing editor of FoxNewsHealth.com, questions the surgery, and worries about Fox.
“She has spent more than $120,000 on surgical procedures in the hopes of reaching her 'dream' look. These surgeries are elective, and they become unethical when possible risks to the patient are not considered," Dr. Manny said. "For the most part, plastic surgeons in the United States are aware of the risks that can be brought unto a patient if they go ahead with planned unnecessary procedures. That is why it is of no surprise to me that Fox initially had trouble finding a surgeon who would perform the procedure. It doesn’t matter how small a procedure is, every single one carries a level of medical risk.”
Dr. Manny, who does not treat Fox, added that Fox may suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and rather than seeking more cosmetic surgeries, she should be seeking professional mental health help.
“Folks who suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which is a real, dangerous medical disease, live their lives obsessing about perceived or real flaws," he said. "They undergo multiple, unnecessary procedures to correct whatever their perceived imperfection may be, or to complete their vision of what they believe they should look like. Many times, these individuals suffer from deep-rooted symptoms of anxiety and depression. There is a clear need for mental health counseling, and professionals who can help them cope with these symptoms.”