Plastic surgery is a reconstructive procedure meant to correct physical dysfunction in a part of the body. Though the terms ‘plastic surgery’ and ‘cosmetic surgery’ are often used interchangeably, they do not refer to the same thing. Cosmetic procedures are elective and focused on improving aesthetics, proportion and symmetry. Examples of cosmetic procedures include breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and butt lifts. Plastic surgery is intended to enhance functionality. Burn repair, breast reconstruction and cleft palate repair are a few examples.
While every person who goes under the plastic surgeon’s knife hopes for a flawless result, things can and do go wrong. Surgeries are inherently high risk procedures and there is no certainty that the outcome will be successful. Depending on the nature and complexity of the surgery, life long complications and even death is a possibility. For this reason, a surgery gone wrong is not of itself automatic grounds for a plastic surgery malpractice lawsuit.
However, if the plastic surgeon is deemed to have failed in their duty of reasonable care for the patient, there is legal recourse.
Surgeries are complex so the potential warning flags of malpractice are numerous. However, some indicators have been a frequently-occurring feature of past medical malpractice lawsuits. These include:
- A surgeon who is not qualified in plastic surgery
- Cutting costs by replacing anesthesiologists with nurse anesthetists
- Poorly equipped surgery room or location.
- A failure to study the patient’s medical history in order to identify conditions that could compromise the procedure’s outcome
- Going beyond the patient’s scope of authorization
- Performing the surgery on the wrong body part
Injuries that may result from a botched plastic surgery include disfigurement, scarring, skin discoloration, pneumonia, infection, bleeding and paralysis.
To win a lawsuit, a Florida medical malpractice attorney must demonstrate the following.
- The plastic surgeon had a duty of reasonable care for the patient
- The plastic surgeon failed in this duty by their negligence
- The patient experienced an injury
- The injury is because of the plastic surgeon’s failure
Persons injured due to the negligence of a plastic surgeon may qualify for financial and non-financial compensation. The patient may be reimbursed for the costs of the procedure and received additional compensation for future expenses that result from the failed operation. In the event that injury prevents the patient from working, they can pursue payment for the loss of income.
Patients may also be compensated for pain and suffering to cater for the trauma that resulted from their injury. In the event of a fatality, a wrongful death suit can be filed to provide some financial reprieve for the departed individual’s family.
Badgley Law Group Florida Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Our Florida medical malpractice attorneys have spent years studying, negotiating and arguing medical malpractice cases on behalf of numerous clients. We have seen first hand the devastating long term effects a plastic surgery gone awry can have on a patient and their families. Badgley Law Group is steadfast in making sure negligence in the medical profession is punished accordingly and victims compensated. If you or a loved one was disfigured or otherwise injured following a surgery, get in touch with us so we can discuss what options you have.