Cosmetic surgery is becoming a popular choice for people who wish to change part of their appearance or may have to because of an injury or other disfigurement. Whatever the reason for cosmetic or plastic surgery, medical negligence can occur. If you have suffered because of negligence during a cosmetic surgery procedure, you may be entitled to claim.*
Remember to differentiate between plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons. Only doctors who undergo specialist training can call themselves plastic surgeons. Before you choose your surgeon, check the Medical Council’s register of specialists in plastic and reconstructive surgery. You can also check this with the Association of Plastic Surgeons.
Cosmetic surgery claims may arise due to errors in procedures including:
Burn surgery can occur as a result of a personal injury accident. The goals of reconstructive burn surgery are to improve both the function and the cosmetic appearance of burn scars. Skin grafts and skin re-arrangement of skin donor flaps can be used. Burns are tissue damage that results from heat or over-exposure to the sun or other radiation or chemical and electrical contact. Burn symptoms vary depending on how deep the skin damage is. It can take a day or two for the signs of severe burn to develop.
Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) Claims
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is quite common, but it can be highly invasive. It is performed to get rid of excess skin around the upper and/or lower eyelids.
Blepharoplasty is a complex surgery that should only be performed by a fully qualified surgeon who is totally aware of the risks involved. Injuries can occur if the medical practitioner makes a mistake during surgery or fails to provide adequate aftercare. If you have suffered an injury following eyelid surgery due to the negligence of your medical treatment, you should consult your solicitor to investigate making a claim.
Rhinoplasty Error Claims
A rhinoplasty error claim arises from complications following what is commonly known as a ‘nose job’. If you have suffered an injury during or following nose surgery you may be eligible to claim for damages if the injury resulted from the negligence of somebody else.
Nose shaping surgery may be carried out for cosmetic reasons or to fix a broken nose. Other reasons for nose surgery include:
- Facial injury
- An irregular bridge
- Deviated septum
- Breathing problems.
Common rhinoplasty injuries
Common problems in rhinoplasty that give rise to claims include:
- Nerve damage
- Breathing problems
- Nose damage
- Blood clots and excessive bleeding
- Injuries to the eye
- Nasal collapse
- Weakening of the nose
- Loss of sense of smell
- Soft tissue damage
- Damage to the septum
Common causes of rhinoplasty errors
- Surgical error
- Failure to alert patients to risks
- Inadequate equipment
- No prior assessment or consultation
Liposuction Negligence Claims
Liposuction is a surgical procedure to remove unwanted body fat. It generally takes place under anesthetic and involves an injection to liquefy the fat, high-pressured instruments to break down the fat, and subsequent drainage of the fat using suction tubes.
Medical negligence may occur during liposuction if:
- The surgeon fails to notify the patient of the risk involved.
- The medical team delivers substandard care
- The patient fails to receive proper post-operative care.
Risks of liposuction procedures
Liposuction treatment is considered quite a safe procedure, but the surgeon must take preventive measures to avoid:
- Internal organ damage
- Blood poisoning due to excess solution being injected
Gastric Band Surgery Negligence Claims
A gastric band is a silicone device that is inserted around the upper part of the stomach via a surgical procedure. It restricts the amount of food that can be eaten comfortably and is used to help the patient lose weight.
Gastric band negligence claims arise if the medical staff carrying out the procedure fall short of their duty of care and the patient is injured as a result or must undergo further surgery.
The medical staff are required to provide the best possible standard of service and remain prepared and equipped for any potential complications. The patient should be made alerted to any risks associated with the surgery.
Risks associated with gastric band surgery include peritonitis, a potentially fatal infection caused if gastric fluid leaks into the stomach
Before and after surgery, the patient should receive a standard of care that will promote the recovery process. If a patient is discharged from a hospital before they are ready, the medical team can be held accountable.
Breast surgery compensation claims
Problems during cosmetic breast surgery can cause physical and emotional suffering. Patients can be left in excruciating pain with issues such as scarring or a lack of symmetry.
If your breast surgery or care was negligent in any way, you may be entitled to claim. Consult your solicitor for guidance. Negligent treatment may occur during:
- Breast augmentations
- Breast reductions
- Breast uplifts
- Breast reconstructions
Dermal fillers compensation claims
Dermal fillers are a cosmetic procedure that many people avail of to plump up areas such as the lips and cheeks or to fill out facial lines. Usually, this is a straightforward procedure that causes minimal discomfort, but sometimes things go wrong.
If you are considering taking a dermal filler claim, consult your solicitor to guide you through the process. You may be entitled to claim financial damages if:
- The dermal filler did not remain in place.
- An infection occurred in the area around the injection.
- A skin tissue inflammation called granuloma nodules formed.
Issues with temporary and permanent dermal fillers can cause pain and require further surgery to correct. Financial damages can help you cover reversal procedures, emotional support, or other related expenses.
Laser eye surgery claims
Negligence associated with eye surgery is a common source of medical negligence claims. Ophthalmic and laser eye surgery includes cataract surgery, retinal surgery for diabetic conditions, reconstructive surgery, and LASIK surgery (a type of laser surgery). If you have suffered an injury or sight loss after eye surgery or related treatment, you may be eligible to claim financial compensation.
LASIK Eye Surgery
LASIK eye surgery is designed to correct a common eye problem called refractive errors and to eliminate or reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses. During the procedure, superficial corneal tissue is removed to change the curvature of the cornea and enhance the way the retina focuses light.
It is vital to do a proper preoperative assessment to identify risk factors. If the wrong patient information is entered into the laser machine, the surgery may cause serious damage to the patient’s eye.
Adverse outcomes include:
- Pain and sensitivity
- An increase in eye fluid pressure
- Blurred and double vision
- Corneal scarring
If you are considering pursuing a claim, an independent medical expert will need to review your medical records and/or examine you to deliver an expert opinion. To support your claim, this opinion will need to indicate that the injury you suffered could have been avoided if a more appropriate course of action had been taken.
Laser treatment claims
Lasers are used for a range of medical and cosmetic treatments. In these procedures, a laser is used instead of a blade, heating cells until they separate. If the treatment does not go as planned, you may be entitled to claim for financial damages to pay for corrective procedures and psychological help, if necessary.
Laser treatment is commonly used in the treatment of:
- Birthmarks and moles
- Prominent veins
- Skin issues
- Excess hair
Most of these procedures are straightforward and often take place without anaesthetic. Nonetheless, if things don’t go to plan, you could be left with painful and possibly permanent issues such as scarring and infections. The laser beauty treatment industry is largely unregulated, so professional standards are not subject to mandatory training or licensing requirements.
Hair loss due to failure to carry out a patch test
Hair loss can also occur if patch tests for hair dye are not carried out correctly in hair salons and this results in burns to the head and hair loss where a cosmetic negligence claim can be taken against the salon due to failure to carry out proper procedures.
Hair transplant surgery
Hair transplant surgery is a surgical technique that removes hair follicles from one part of the body called the ‘donor site’ to a bald or balding part of the body known as the ’recipient site’. The hair transplant procedure is called the follicular unit transplantation (FUT). If the hair transplant surgery goes wrong it can result in scarring and permanent hair loss.
Mole removal claims
This is where a medical expert typically performs a skin biopsy by using a tool to remove the mole. If carried out incorrectly can cause scarring.