Can I still have a mommy makeover if I have a family history of malignant hyperthermia?

My mother had a suspected Malignant Hyperthermia episode 30 years ago while having her wisdom teeth out. She's never had surgery since so no official diagnosis. I have had my tonsils out as well as my wisdom teeth. I did not have any problems with either of those surgeries. Since I have this family history am I still a candidate for a mommy makeover?

Doctor Answers 10

Mommy makeover and question of family history of malignant hyperthermia.

Malignant hyperthermia is inherited as an autosomal dominant gene with variable penetrace.   This means that if your mother truly had a malignant hyperthermia episode, you may well have inherited the trait.  Drs. Shureih, Pousti, and Lee have given you good information on how to determine if you have the trait and the factors that can trigger a reaction.  It is possible to have a mommy makeover given your history, but it is imperative that you notify your plastic surgeon and, especially, your anesthesiologist about your history, well in advance .  If you have the surgery, they will want to take several precautions with regard to the medications that your are given to help prevent a malignant hyperthermia reaction and to have the appropriate antidotes ready (Dantroline and cooling agents, ice, etc.) to reverse an episode should it occur.  Malignant hyperthermia is an extremely rare condition, but it can occur.  I, myself, was witness to a case of malignant hyperthermia, when I was a medical student.   Although, the patient was not diagnosed with the condition, the anesthesioloist involved quickly realized what was occurring, treated the patient quickly and appropriately and the patient recovered without incident.  The key to this diagnosis is to be aware of it, to avoid the agents which can trigger an attack, and to be ready to immediately treat it if it does occur.  Best wishes.

San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Family history of malignant hyperthermia is not a contraindication a mommy makeover.

This is clearly something that can be discussed with your surgeon and anesthesiologist. You can be tested for your personal sensitivity which would establish relative risk.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Malignant Hyperthermia

Malignant Hyperthermia is very serious, but you can still have surgery safely.  The key is for the anesthesiologist to avoid the trigger agents.  There are testing centers around the United States that can help you determine if you have this trait.  It would be worth your while to look into this because it is something that will need to be revealed for every surgery you have, and in the case of an emergency you may not be capable of explaining this to whomever is caring for you.  

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Be safe

MH can be a true anesthesia emergency when not recognized. The fact that you know this means trigger agents should not be used.You can have safe surgery.Talk to your surgeon and the anesthesia provides. I recommend your surgery be done in a hospital outpatient center.

William C. Rigano, MD
Dayton Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Sure! But proceed with caution

The key is to avoid triggers.  This means avoidance of many of the drugs used for general anesthesia (inhaled gas, succinyl choline).  So, abdominal surgery can be done with an epidural catheter and breast surgery can be done with local anesthesia and sedation.  Personally, I perform 95% of my surgeries without general anesthesia for this very reason. Operating rooms nationwide have gone to non-latex products for the rare case of latex allergy, why are more surgeons not moving to anesthesia that avoids the risk of MH? 

Another type of anesthetic is called TIVA (Totally IV Anesthesia).  This is basically a "general anesthetic" with propofol. 

The safest thing to do is get tested so you know.  And, you'll know for your children.

Good luck!

Robert S. Houser, DO
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Possible malignant hyperthermia

Thank you for your question about malignant hyperthermia.

  • Malignant hyperthermia can be rapidly fatal -
  • This does not mean you cannot have a mommy make-over.
  • It means you must tell your surgeon and be tested in advance for malignant hyperthemia.
  • You need a pre-operative consultation with the anesthesiologist giving you the anesthesia.
  • Your surgery needs to be in a hospital with all staff alerted to MH and immediate treatment ready if needed.
  • A review of your previous anesthesia records and an interview of your mother would be helpful - to determine what happened and what anesthetic agents she was given. 

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Malignant Hyperthermia

Dr. Pousti gave you very good information.
There is a test that can be done. A muscle biopsy and testing for Malignant Hyperthermia can be done. CAFEINE- HALOTHANE TEST.
a talk with the anesthesiologist prior to surgery and avoid triggering agents used in anesthesia.
Call the malignant hyperthermia society for advise (You doctor can do that )
Even when all is negative, with a family history of malignant hyperthermia one needs to proceed with extreme caution.
You surgery MUST be done in a hospital setting and not in a surgical center or office based surgery center.
All specialists need to be put on alert prior to your surgery. Mortality rate from malignant hyperthermia is very high.
No surgeon, no anesthesiologist, no family wants to have a case of malignant hyperthermia.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

MH family history

You need an anesthesia consultation. MH is the worst possible problem for anesthesia, everything going wrong and fast. A "trigger free"anesthetic can be administered under special circumstances ( likely not in a one operating room private centre), after you have been carefully evaluated. Muscle biopsy can be done to rule out MH susceptibility but this may be difficult to arrange.

Benjamin Gelfant, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Can I still have a mommy makeover if I have a family history of malignant hyperthermia?

Thank you for the question. It is likely that you will be able to have the procedures performed AFTER you have been worked up  for  malignant hyperthermia problem.
Malignant hyperthermia is a rare life-threatening condition usually triggered by exposure to certain drugs used for general anesthesia. Susceptibility to malignant hyperthermia is often inherited as an autosomal dominant disorder. Malignant hyperthermia is usually revealed by anesthesia or when a family member develops the symptoms.
The incidence is 1:5000 to 1;50,000-100,000 procedures involving general anesthesia.
Treatment involves the intravenous administration of dantrolene, discontinuation of triggering agents, and supportive therapy (directed at correcting hyperthermia, acidosis, and organ dysfunction).
I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

Mommy makeover

You will definitely need to be evaluated by an internist and your anesthesiologist to see if you have MH.  Only after you get clearance then your PS will decide whether or not to operate on you.  The anesthesiologist can also use different drugs than other patients to put you to sleep that will not trigger the malignant hyperthermia.

Anh Lee, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.