Almost two million Americans had cosmetic procedures in 2016, and over $15 billion was spent on aesthetic cosmetic procedures according to new statistics from The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Although people are supposed to come out of a cosmetic surgery with an improved appearance, not all cosmetic procedures have the results patients want.
Sometimes things go wrong and an elective surgery can result in deformities, serious health complications, and even death. When a cosmetic surgeon makes a critical mistake that leaves a patient injured, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be pursued. This is especially the case when a cosmetic surgeon fails to warn a patient of the risks associated with the specific cosmetic procedure. If a surgeon fails to do so and a patient is harmed, the patient may be entitled to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. Other instances of cosmetic surgery malpractice may include:
- Excessive scarring
- Anesthesia injuries
- Medication errors
- Blood infections
- Organ failure
- Respiratory failure
- Nerve damage
Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice
Although these types of surgeries are often thought of as minor procedures since they are elective surgeries, the truth of the matter is that there are serious risks anytime someone goes under the knife and receives anesthesia. Even though there are known risks associated with even the most minor surgery, medical negligence may be behind a botched surgery and a patient suffering harm. Unfortunately, this can occur in any type of elective cosmetic surgery, including:
- Liposuction. This procedure removes fat deposits in areas such as the buttocks, thighs, hips, abdomen, and upper arms.
- Facelift. This procedure is when excess facial skin is removed so that the skin appears tighter and younger with fewer wrinkles.
- Eyelid surgery. This procedure is when skin is corrected or fat is removed from bags below the eye or drooping upper eyelids.
- Breast augmentation. Also known as a mammoplasty, this procedure is when implants are used to enlarge the size of a woman’s breasts.
- Breast lift. Also known as a mastopexy, this procedure removes excess skin and tightens surrounding tissue to reshape and lift the breasts.
- Breast reduction. Also known as a reduction mammoplasty, this procedure removes extra breast fat and tissue to make the breasts smaller.
- Tummy tuck. Also known as an abdominoplasty, this procedure removes flab and extra skin from the abdomen, making the stomach appear smoother and firmer.
- Labiaplasty. This procedure occurs on the labia to alter its shape and appearance.
- Neck lift. Also known as a lower rhytidectomy, this procedure reduces the appearance of aging in the neck by removing sagging skin under the jaw and on the neck.
- Ear surgery. Also known as otoplasty, this procedure is done to reshape ears, fix protruding ears, change the position or size of the ear, or correct a birth defect.
- Chin augmentation. This procedure changes the facial structure by reshaping or enhancing the size of the chin to provide better balance to the face.
- Buttock lift. Also known as a belt lipectomy, this procedure removes extra skin over the buttocks and thigh areas and tightens the skin to make the buttocks appear raised.
- Brow lift. Also known as a forehead lift, this procedure corrects lines and sagging in the forehead as well as the creases between the eyebrows to help people appear younger and less grumpy.
- Nose job. Also known as a rhinoplasty, this procedure changes the shape and angle of the nose by reshaping it.
- Upper arm lift. Also known as a brachioplasty, this procedure removes fat pockets and tightens the loose skin under the arm to reduce the appearance of a flabby upper arm.
- Thigh lift. This procedure removes extra skin and tightens sagging skin in the outer or inner thigh to make the thigh appear more toned and smooth.
In any of these cosmetic surgeries, patients can suffer harm as a result of medical negligence. Often patients of botched cosmetic procedures are confused about whether they can seek justice through a medical malpractice lawsuit since they elected to have the surgery. But doctors are required to provide a standard of care in every single procedure, which means that cosmetic doctors are not released from their responsibility to keep their patients safe even though the procedure is elective.
Whether a general physician or a board certified cosmetic surgeon performed a minor cosmetic procedure or a major reconstructive surgery that resulted in harm, you may be entitled to compensation. For help getting started on your journey to making a financial recovery for the harm you suffered, please call our office or start an online chat with us and we will be happy to provide you with a free initial consultation.