Girl’s Death Spotlights Plastic Surgery among Teens

May 26, 2008 04:26 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A Florida teenager died after undergoing breast augmentation. Her case brings new attention to the rising popularity of cosmetic surgery in America.

30-Second Summary

High school cheerleader Stephanie Kuleba died of malignant hyperthermia, a rare reaction to anesthesia, after undergoing cosmetic breast surgery.

Her death has raised concern about the growth in plastic surgery among young women. About 400,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed in 2007, and nearly 8,000 of those were done on individuals 18 and under, reported WPTV in Florida. The FDA recommends that no one under 18 undergo breast augmentation surgery.

Kuleba’s death was tragic, but it could happen to anyone, said Dr. Richard D’Amico, the president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, on Wednesday to Matt Lauer of the Today Show.

“This is something that can happen in any surgery, on any part of the body, in any setting,” D’Amico said.

The number of people taking on the risks of surgery to improve their appearance is growing steadily in all age groups, according to a recent report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Twelve million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2007, a 7 percent increase from the year before and a 59 percent increase from 2000.

Cosmetic surgery is even losing its stigma for men in the United States, who underwent 17 percent more procedures in 2007 than the year before, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

As more people go under the knife, there has been a corresponding rise in individuals electing to have “undo-plasties” to reverse botched procedures. Celebrities such as Courtney Love have spoken openly about their bad experiences.

“I just want the mouth God gave me,” Love wrote in her blog. “It was perfectly cute.”

Headline link: ‘Cheerleader’s Death Highlights Rare Surgical Risk’

Background: No longer stigmatized

Video: 'Teen: Plastic Surgery Is Graduation Gift'

Related topics: ‘Undo-plasty,’ MRSA, botched procedures and ‘Miss Bimbo’

Reference: A guide to plastic surgery


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