“Perfect” Teen Dies of Malignant Hyperthermia After Surgery to Correct Inverted Areola

A popular teenage cheerleader died of a rare condition called malignant hyperthermia after having reconstructive breast surgery for asymmetrical breasts and an inverted areola.

The woman, 18-year-old Stephanie Kuleba, was captain of the varsity cheerleading squad at West Boca High and died on Saturday of complications from the surgery. Her friends described her as “perfect,” but apparently she wanted to be more perfect by having the cosmetic surgery. Asymmetrical breasts means that one breast is somewhat larger than the other, or is a slightly different shape; an inverted areola is when the nipple or the colored area around it points inward instead of outward as usual. Neither condition is unhealthy or requires correction.

Malignant hyperthermia is a relatively rare condition that is often a reaction to certain types of anesthesia used in surgery. Malignant hyperthermia an inherited genetic condition that usually only becomes known in cases such as this, when a person has an adverse reaction to anesthesia. There is an antidote to reverse the effects of malignant hyperthermia, but the condition has to be recognized quickly and the antidote administered within a half hour or so.

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