When it comes to elective surgery, many will think that plastic surgery is the domain of the vain and narcissistic, those who have too much money to burn and too little confidence in their own appearance to face the world without help. However, the uses of plastic surgery go far beyond this.
In cases where people suffer disfiguring injuries in accidents or from disease, or who suffer from congenital deformities, plastic surgery can be life-saving. However, when it comes to medical malpractice, even the most conscientious and attentive plastic surgeon might end up on the wrong side of a lawsuit.
What is Plastic Surgery Malpractice
Under the law, medical malpractice – including plastic surgery malpractice – is usually proven by the same set of basic guidelines that general negligent behavior is proven, though with a focus on medical procedures.
The medical staff of all kinds can only be considered guilty of malpractice if they had a duty of care to the patient that they breached through either action or inaction, the patient suffered injuries, and the breach of duty was the cause of those injuries. Without each of these four conditions being met, there can be no malpractice.
How to Prove Plastic Surgery Malpractice
In some cases, especially dealing with plastic surgery, it can be difficult to prove that the action or inaction of the surgeon caused the injuries in question.
This is because of the sheer number of medical personnel involved in plastic surgery cases. There are doctors, surgeons, nurses, administrative staff, and any number of other medical professionals who may be involved with a patient’s care.
Also, in many cases, injuries from plastic surgery aren’t readily apparent but only present themselves much later in the future, which also makes it difficult to trace the cause back to negligent treatment at the hands of a plastic surgeon. The exception to this is in cases of obvious negligence, such as the surgeon operating on the wrong body part or something similar.
Dissatisfaction with Their Results
According to statistical research conducted by a major medical malpractice insurer, plastic surgery patients expressed dissatisfaction with their results in nearly three out of every ten claims made over a 10-year period.
Other problems, such as infection, emotional distress, and scar deformities accounted for 14 percent of cases each. The remainder of claims included burns, asymmetry, and death at 5 percent each, and account for the vast majority of claims made against plastic surgeons.
However, only one out of every three claims made for plastic surgery malpractice involved the quality of the work done by the surgeon. In fact, the technical skills of the doctor were seen as less important than issues like a lack of good communication or patient-related behavior.
Protect Your Rights
In many cases, undergoing plastic surgery is less about an elective cosmetic improvement for a healthy person, but a necessary procedure to treat any number of injuries, diseases, or other conditions.
However, if you do feel you have been victimized by plastic surgery malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation.
If you do suspect medical negligence, you need to contact a qualified and experienced attorney to have your case reviewed. A reputable law firm with expertise in bringing malpractice cases against medical personnel will be able to tell you whether your experiences qualify as being subjected to medical negligence and whether you can pursue a compensation claim against the surgeon or medical center responsible for your injuries. This law firm can also represent your interests in civil court as well if you wish.