Plastic Surgery Malpractice
These days, many individuals undergo plastic surgery. Patients seek plastic surgery to enhance their appearance or to repair the damage of a traumatic accident. Thus, plastic surgery has become commonplace in the United States. Most of the time, the surgery succeeds and provides good results. However, as with any other type of major surgery, there is always the chance that something can go wrong with the procedure. Negligent plastic surgery is a form of medical malpractice.
Just because something goes wrong with the surgery does not mean that the patient has a legal remedy. However, if the problems were the result of negligence, under Florida law, the patient may be able to recover damages for the harm he or she suffered as a result of that negligence. Also, since health insurance often does not cover purely cosmetic surgery, a patient whose surgery was performed negligently may suffer more significant damages in the form of out-of-pocket expenses, and may attempt to reclaim these in a malpractice claim.
Plastic Surgery Malpractice Causes
As with any surgery, there are many potential causes of plastic surgery malpractice. Some of the more common malpractice situations include the following:
- Allowing non-plastic surgeons to perform plastic surgery;
- Exceeding the scope of the patient’s informed consent (performing extra, unauthorized procedures);
- Failing to take a full history of the patient;
- Operating on the wrong part of the body;
- Performing lengthy or complex plastic surgery procedures in private offices that are not equipped to address complications arising during the surgery; or
- Using nurse anesthetists instead of anesthesiologists to save costs.
Complications of Plastic Surgery
Any kind of surgery, including plastic surgery, requires extensive and careful preparation, skillful execution, and proper supervision and monitoring of the patient after the surgery. If any of the medical professionals participating in the surgery fail to provide the patient with a reasonable level of care, the results can be devastating. Problems resulting from plastic surgery malpractice include the following harms:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia or other medications;
- Blood clots;
- Excessive bleeding;
- Excessive fluid build-up;
- Heart attack;
- Permanent scarring;
- Skin discoloration or other skin irregularities;
- Stroke; or
- Sudden drooping or caving-in of the surgical site.
Proving plastic surgery malpractice
Florida law does not require plastic surgeons to guarantee results or to provide perfect outcomes to surgery; however, it does require plastic surgeons to act reasonably. To prove that a plastic surgeon committed malpractice, a patient must prove that the surgeon’s conduct did not meet the standard of a reasonably prudent plastic surgeon under the same or similar circumstances. If the surgeon’s actions did not meet that standard of care and the patient is injured, the surgeon may be liable to the patient for damages.
A patient who is injured by plastic surgery malpractice may be entitled to receive monetary damages for the following amounts:
- Current medical bills;
- Future medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Punitive damages (in cases where the surgeon’s act or omission is particularly egregious).
The family of a patient who dies as a result of a plastic surgeon’s malpractice may be entitled to compensation for damages caused by the loss of their family member.
Contact our attorneys today with your questions. We offer free consultations and there is no charge to you until we win.