The number of cosmetic surgeries performed across the United States every year is on the rise. The most common cosmetic procedures today are liposuction, breast augmentation, and tummy tucks. Other procedures are frequently performed on the face, like rhinoplasty, eyelid surgeries, and facelifts. While most patients are satisfied with the results, there are instances of poor outcomes due to medical negligence by the surgeon.
There are two types of plastic surgery: cosmetic plastic surgery and reconstructive plastic surgery. Cosmetic plastic surgery is used to improve the patient’s features on a purely aesthetic level or as a cosmetic enhancement of the body. These are the most common surgeries.
Reconstructive surgery is performed to correct any physical feature which is grossly deformed or abnormal by accepted standards. These are usually the result of birth defect, congenital disorder, illness, or trauma, as well as to correct the function of the body part in question.
Plastic surgeons are highly trained physicians with rigorous educational and specialized surgical skills. Most procedures are very common and have been performed countless times on patients by a surgeon. However, while the procedures seem safe and ordinary, there are always risks associated with every surgical procedure, including elective plastic surgeries.
Plastic surgery is actually a complex medical procedure and carries a substantial risk of complications. This is especially true if the surgeon is not properly trained or fails to follow the appropriate standards of medical care. Medical mistakes during plastic surgery can result in disfigurement, permanent physical injury, or even death.
When medical mistakes occur during plastic surgery, the injured patient may have a plastic surgery malpractice lawsuit. The most common allegations in lawsuits against plastic surgeons include the failure to properly evaluate the patient prior to surgery, mistakes in the techniques and performance of the surgery, and the failure to treat post-operative infections.
Another allegation is that the doctor did not properly obtain the patient’s informed consent prior to surgery. This is not warning the patient of all potential complications of the procedure, including infections and the need for additional surgeries. A patient does not waive the right to sue a cosmetic surgeon simply by signing a consent to surgery form.
Every state has a statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases. These are deadlines for filing a lawsuit and typically start running on the date of the surgery. It is essential that anybody considering filing a case for a cosmetic procedure with a poor outcome contact an experienced attorney as soon as medical negligence is suspected. The failure to timely file a case is an absolute bar to recover a settlement or win a verdict at a later date.