Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cosmetic surgeries are surgical procedures carried out for the purpose of changing one’s appearance. While most surgical procedures pose a low risk of complications and injury, no surgery is risk-free. Plastic surgery, including both reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery, is no exception. Plastic surgeons must exercise a high degree of medical competency and care when treating patients. Failure to provide the level of skill, care, and treatment that a reasonable plastic surgeon would provide under similar circumstances may constitute medical malpractice. Medical malpractice, simply defined, is “treatment that doesn’t meet accepted medical standards, which causes injury to the patient.” When a surgeon undertakes a surgery either ill-equipped or ill-prepared, he/she may be liable for any damage he/she causes.

Cosmetic surgery malpractice is a type of serious medical malpractice that is a violation of the trust a patient instills in the medical profession and may cause serious long term-medical issues such as:

  • Abdominoplasty complications
  • Skin Loss
  • Nerve Damage
  • Excessive Scars
  • Breast Augmentation/Reduction complications
  • Nerve damage
  • Excessive scars
  • Incorrect size
  • Infections
  • Asymmetry
  • Disfigurement
  • Face-lift complications
  • Excessive scars
  • Nerve Damage
  • Dry Eyes
  • Eyelid troubles (i.e. Inability to open/close eyes)
  • Liposuction
  • Disfigurement
  • Numbness
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Organ penetration
  • Rhinoplasty Complications
  • Breathing difficulties

Plastic Surgeons’ Responsibilities

When it comes to plastic surgery, surgeons have a legal obligation to disclose all possible risks, both minor and major, to their patients prior to surgery. Plastic surgeons are required to offer this important information, whether or not their patients request such information.

Certain risks accompany virtually all surgeries, including risk of blood clots, anesthesia or medication reactions, infection, respiratory complications, and death. Other risks may be specific to a particular procedure. For example, breast augmentation carries the unique risk of resulting in capsular contracture, whereby the scar tissue around the breast hardens and squeezes the implant, causing pain and disfigurement that often requires additional surgery.

Plastic surgeons have a duty to disclose the risks of a desired procedure so that a patient can make an informed decision about what is best for them. By law, a surgeon must disclose the most probable known dangers of surgery and their likelihood of occurring.

Plastic Surgery Malpractice Claim

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury or emotional harm due to plastic surgery complications or errors, you may have the legal right to pursue a claim against those responsible. To be successful in a medical malpractice claim, you must be able to show the following:

1. The existence of a surgeon-patient relationship (which implies a duty to care)

2. That the duty to care was breeched (the surgeon or other professional failed to meet reasonably expected standards)

3. What injuries and damages you suffered

4. That these damages were caused by the breech of duty (causal relationship/ proximate cause)

Once your eligibility to pursue a claim is established, a qualified and experienced attorney will be responsible for gathering the important evidence required to build a strong case for you.

Contact an Attorney

The number one claim brought against plastic surgeons in medical malpractice claims is “improper performance” or failure to meet the standard of care reasonably expected given the circumstances. Having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference. If you or a loved one has suffered injury or harm at the hands of a plastic surgeon, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your past and future medical expenses (including the cost of corrective/revision surgery), loss of income, disfigurement, disability, emotional pain and suffering, and more.

Practice Areas: 

Accidents & Injuries