Things You Should Know About Plastic Surgery Malpractice
For the most part, most plastic surgeries are fairly low risk, and pose little threat for side effects and complications. That being said, no type of surgery is absolutely free of risk, and these elective procedures are no exception to this rule.
Plastic surgeons are skilled medical professionals and have a high level of training to treat their patients in a variety of ways. When this level of care is not carried out in the proper manner, or if the surgeon performs a procedure he or she is not qualified to perform, a form of medical malpractice may have occurred.
There are many different legal obligations plastic surgeons are held to, and they must practice in a manner that protects patients from bad procedures and unqualified physicians. When a plastic surgeon provides care to a patient, he or she is promising they have the proper level of education, training, and skills needed to conduct the procedure correctly and safely.
These surgeons also have a legal obligation to disclose all potential risks, of all degrees, to their patients before performing any type of surgery. They must supply this information on a forth coming basis, even if it is not requested by the patient.
Because surgery of any type is invasive, there is always a risk of infection, anesthesia reactions, respiratory complications, medication reactions, blood clots, and even death. Other risks are also associated with the precise type of procedure being done. Breast enhancement, for example, poses a risk that is unique to the procedure and is known as capsular contracture. This means that scar tissue can form around the breast, then harden and place pressure on the implants causing pain and disfigurement, which may necessitate more surgeries.
There are also a number of factors that can increase the possibility of plastic surgery complications. These factors include:
Unrealistic expectations on the part of the patient: While plastic surgery can do wonderful things, they are also somewhat limited. It is very important that patients properly communicate their expectations before the procedure, and that surgeons are upfront and honest about what is truly possible.
Poor emotional or physical health prior to surgery: It is very important that patients are in optimal health both physically and mentally before undergoing any procedure. Smokers are encouraged to stop smoking at least fourteen days before surgery to minimize complications. Certain types of medications, both prescription and over the counter may also need to be stopped before the procedure. It is also necessary that patients are sure of the reasons they want to have surgery, and they are not doing it to achieve something or for someone else. Surgeons also need to conduct a thorough examination prior to the surgery to discuss the patients past, and present health history.
Multiple surgeries, prolonged procedures, or a combination of the two: Undergoing a number of surgeries and/or prolonged procedures increases the risk of complications. These risks need to be discussed in detail prior to agreeing to any operation.
Lack of experience or qualifications of surgeon: There is a great deal of skill and knowledge that plastic surgeons must possess. Those who are not adequately trained to perform certain procedures pose a greater risk of complications for their patients. In order to avoid these types of risk and complications, it is best to only use a board certified surgeon who has a great deal of experience in the precise procedure you are seeking. Be sure to ask plenty of questions, meet with several different surgeons, and ask for references. You need to feel absolutely comfortable with the doctor your select.
As stated above, there are certain risks associated with any type of surgery, plastic surgery included. The following complications are some of the most commonly reported issues that patients have experienced, and have led to subsequent lawsuits: infections; hematomas; scarring; asymmetry; over correction; under correction; wrong sized implants; dry eyes or not being able to close eyes following a face lift; burning or blistering from chemical peels; anesthesia errors; dissatisfaction or disappointment with the final result; lidocaine overdose; sexual abuse by the surgeon; excessive amounts of skin removed during a face lift; permanent disabilities; disfigurement; injuries and complications due to prolonged sedation; using before and after photos of the patient without consent; nerve damage; numbness; corrective procedures needed from complications; a loss of breast skin or nipples; mismanaged post operative care; interactions or reactions to medications; pulmonary embolism; pulmonary edema; encapsulation; and death.
With all of this being said, the number one complaint brought forth in the legal system against plastic surgeons is for improper performance. This means that a form of medical malpractice has occurred and that a standard of care that was expected was not met.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury, either physically or emotionally, because of a complication or error that took place during plastic surgery, it is important that you understand that you have legal rights, and you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the professionals responsible. In order to have a successful claim, you will need to prove the following:
You must have had a doctor/patient relationship with an implied duty of care;
The implied duty of care was breached because the standards that were set forth were not met;
You suffered damages and/or injuries because of this breach of duty of care;
These injuries or damages were a direct result of the breach of duty of care.
Once it has been deemed that you are eligible to pursue a case against the surgeon, you will need to hire a qualified personal injury attorney who specializes in medical malpractice to handle your claim. This professional will gather all evidence and build your case from the ground up.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means you do not have to pay anything until the time your case is settled. You do not have to suffer with injuries or harm that was done because of the carelessness of a medical professional. Contact a personal injury attorney today for assistance.