When you choose to undergo an elective surgery, such as a cosmetic procedure, you typically have a certain expectation of safety. These procedures are often promoted as being safe and effective ways to improve your appearance and even boost your self-esteem, but there are still serious health risks if something goes wrong or the doctor makes a mistake.
Those who have suffered injuries due to cosmetic surgery often wonder if they can still file a medical malpractice suit for a procedure that was elective. Here’s the truth about medical malpractice claims and cosmetic surgery, including common injuries and how you can get legal help if you’ve been hurt.
Cosmetic Surgery Statistics
Elective cosmetic surgery is something that many Americans choose to have for a variety of reasons. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) there were over 17 million cosmetic procedures performed in the United States in 2016. This number includes 1.7 million of the most common cosmetic surgeries that are considered “invasive,” such as:
- Breast augmentations.
- Rhinoplasty (reshaping of the nose).
- Surgery on eyelids.
- Face lifts.
- Buttock augmentation, labiaplasty, and other invasive surgeries.
It also includes less- or minimally-invasive procedures such as botulinum toxin shots (Botox), soft tissue or dermal fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, and more.
The majority of patients were between 40 and 54 years old, making up 49 percent of all cosmetic procedures, according to ASPS data. Women accounted for 92 percent of cosmetic procedures, but 1.3 million men also chose to undergo cosmetic surgery.
When Surgery Becomes Medical Malpractice
Regardless of whether your surgery was elective or not, you still have the right to pursue a medical malpractice claim.
While not every poor or undesirable outcome after a medical procedure is malpractice, there are certain situations when harm to the patient could have been avoided if it weren’t for the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of the doctor or other medical personnel involved in the procedure. Being unhappy with the results of your surgery is not typically medical malpractice, either. However, if your doctor failed to warn you of a potential side effect and you suffer harm as a result of that side effect, you may be able to make a claim.
Issues that may result in a medical malpractice claim can include infections, scarring, nerve damage, disfigurement, anesthesia problems, or other complications, depending on the details of your specific case. A medical malpractice attorney will be able to investigate your case, advise you of your rights, and help you move forward with your legal claim.
Proving Your Medical Malpractice Claim
To make your medical malpractice claim, there are three main components of your case that must be established:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed with the physician you are making a claim against.
- The doctor violated the expected standard of care while treating you.
- The breach of duty was the direct cause of your injury.
Another essential part of your claim is showing that the incident resulted in harm that you can be compensated for. This may include the costs of any medical bills related to your injury, repeated “revision” surgeries, and follow-up care, as well as compensation for time you’ve spent away from work, the pain and suffering you’re endured, and any permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Every case is unique, so make sure that your attorney evaluates your situation fully and discusses the awards that you may be eligible for based on the facts of your own situation.
Get Legal Help Now
If you’ve been injured as a result of cosmetic surgery gone wrong, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you today. We’ve been standing up for the rights of those who have been injured by medical negligence and malpractice for decades, and we’re here to help you get the justice that you deserve in a court of law. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced legal professionals, call us by phone, use our contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.