When Plastic Surgery Errors Lead to Medical Malpractice Plastic surgeries are usually elective procedures women and men undergo to improve their personal appearance. Sometimes they are necessary to correct the consequences from a serious accident, such as a fire that caused disfiguring burns. When you go under the knife, you expect your surgeon to be competent and professional. A simple mistake before, during, or after your operation could have potentially deadly consequences.

Types of plastic surgeries

Cosmetic surgery is a lucrative and attractive field for physicians. It is especially popular in high income areas. Yet, sometimes a doctor will go into the business without proper knowledge or training, leading to patient harm. A few common plastic surgery procedures that may involve negligence include:

  • Breast augmentation
  • Eyelid surgery
  • Liposuction
  • Facelifts
  • Laser hair removal
  • Skin peels
  • Neck-lifts
  • Rhinoplasty (“nose job”)

You may also visit a medical spa that offers Botox injections, fillers, or lip injections. Incorrectly injecting a patient can be extremely hazardous.

How can medical malpractice occur in terms of plastic surgery?

Medical malpractice is committed when a doctor fails apply a standard of care that all plastic surgeons are required to adhere to; and that failure subsequently causes harm to the patient.

Examples of medical malpractice in plastic surgery procedures are:

  • Failing to obtain informed consent. Surgeons have a duty to explain the known risks of plastic surgery to their patients and get an acknowledgement in writing that the patient understands the risks.
  • Failing to obtain a full medical history. Your doctor needs to know about your allergies, past procedures, current medical problems, and a full list of medications you take. The physician should be diligent in recording this information, and should not perform a surgery that could be dangerous.
  • Surgical errors. Mistakes may include failing to administer the right amount of anesthesia, operating on a wrong body part, or leaving instruments in the patient’s body. In some cases, the doctor will perform the operation incorrectly and leave undesirable results. A  medical malpractice lawyer can help determine if these surgical mistakes are egregious enough to warrant legal proceedings.

Tragically, plastic surgery mistakes could lead to:

  • Scarring that is not normal for the type of procedure being performed
  • Infections, nerve damage, and tissue damage
  • Swelling and bruising that does not subside with time
  • Disfigurement
  • Skin discoloration
  • Pneumonia
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Death

To learn more about plastic surgery malpractice, please contact Paulson & Nace, PLLC through this contact form or by phoning 202.930.0292.

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