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Medical Malpractice Claims & Cosmetic Surgery Errors

There is a certain amount of risk involved in most surgical procedures. In most cases, the medical team who is performing the surgical procedure is usually experienced, skilled, and trained to do so without the occurrence of any errors. But in surgeries, errors might lead to permanent injury and in some cases, even death.

Errors & Injury in Cosmetic Surgery

According to reports, there are about two million cosmetic surgeries performed in the United States each year. Some of the risks associated with cosmetic surgery are:

  • Infection
  • Complications or allergic reactions from anesthesia
  • Blood clotting under the skin or hematoma
  • Scarring
  • Low blood pressure
  • Necrosis (death of tissue caused by insufficient supply of oxygen)
  • Nerve damage
  • Complications causing death

Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

There are many types of surgeries that can be termed cosmetic in nature such as:

  • Rhinoplasty
  • Breast augmentation
  • Liposuction
  • Eyelid surgery
  • Face lift
  • Tummy tuck
  • Hair transplants
  • Dermabrasion
  • Breast reduction
  • Lip augmentation

Liability of the Doctor

Before any kind of surgery is performed, it is important that a doctor fully evaluates a patient's medical history, their current health, family history, and their use of tobacco, alcohol, and medication. It is also integral for a surgeon to have a clear and concise understanding of what the patient's aesthetic goals and expectations are.

Plastic surgeons, in the same manner as any other health care professional, have to exert a high degree of medical care and competency while treating patients. A medical malpractice case may occur if the level of treatment, care or skill that a reasonable plastic surgeon would provide under similar circumstances, has not been provided. This is referred to as a treatment which does not meet the acceptable medical standards, and therefore results in injury to the patient. It is required by law that a surgeon must reveal the risks associated with any surgery, and how likely it is that these risks will occur.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

A patient might suffer from lifelong complications that arise from plastic surgery errors. These errors might cause a victim to undergo many corrective surgeries and experience lost income, disfigurement, psychological difficulties, and chronic pain. In order to successfully sue for medical malpractice, a patient must be able to show:

  • The existence of a patient/surgeon relationship
  • That the surgeon did not act with the same level of care and skill that a reasonably able surgeon may have provided under similar circumstances
  • That the failure resulted in the plaintiff suffering injuries
  • A breach of duty caused the damages

Considering the Statute of Limitations

Each state has its own laws that limit the amount of time within which a plaintiff can file a claim for damages. This is referred to as the statute of limitations. Usually, the time frame may range from one year to five years from when the medical malpractice was discovered or occurred.

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Firm Attorney, Robert H. Wolff is now the president of the New York City Bronx County Bar Association
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