Brien Roche Law-01

Plastic Surgery Malpractice

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Plastic Surgery Malpractice
Brien Roche

Plastic surgery, also known as cosmetic surgery, is a very lucrative business. These types of medical malpractice cases may be difficult claims. Many people are biased against others who elect to undergo cosmetic surgery. Especially surgery which does not have some medical necessity.

Plastic Surgery Malpractice Cases

In evaluating a plastic surgery case from a malpractice point of view there are several things to look at:

  • Plastic surgeons are fond of advertising. Their advertising and promotional material may be a wealth of misinformation. Plastic surgeons that promote their services by telling patients that good looks equal good health are being misleading.
  • The American Board of Plastic Surgeons prohibits cosmetic surgeons from displaying photos of models suggesting they have received the services advertised unless they have. If such models are used, then it must be clearly stated that the model has not received the surgery being promoted.
  • Cosmetic surgeons can be certified by either the American Board of Plastic Surgeons or by the American Board of Otolaryngology. The surgeon should be certified. In addition, the surgical premises should be certified.

Plastic Surgery Negligence-Improper Screening

A couple of areas that should be closely looked at are whether the patient is a candidate for the surgery and post-operative care.

Certain types of patients are high risk for elective surgeries. The morbidly obese are not good candidates.  The risk of complications is greater with them. For instance, performing a tummy tuck on a morbidly obese person is probably not a good idea.

People that are diabetic or have hypertension likewise are probably not good candidates. These conditions increase the risk of infection and improper healing. In addition, diabetes may be missed.  The doctor should perform the Hemoglobin A1C test which is the most accurate measure of diabetes.

Smokers typically have difficulty healing after surgery. Plastic surgeons should require that patients stop smoking for several months before the procedure.

Postoperative care can also be an issue. Many doctors are not attuned to dealing with this phase of recovery. Wounds become infected. The task of dealing with the wound may be left to the office staff. They may not be trained to spot tissue that is devitalized. They may not be able to recognize necrosis.

Plastic surgeons like to use outpatient plastic surgery centers. Access to them may be easier for both the doctor and the patient. If in fact the procedure is performed at such a center you need to check the state licensing requirements. Exactly what types of procedures can be performed there? Are they properly licensed to begin with?

Plastic Surgery-Arbitration

Plastic surgery gone awry may be met with an arbitration requirement. In other words, many plastic surgeons require that patients, within their consent form, sign off on an arbitration agreement.

These arbitration agreements need to be closely looked at. They deprive the plaintiff of the right to a jury trial. They frequently are put in front of the patient at the last minute before the procedure is performed.  It should be given to the patient well before signing.

For Plastic Surgery Cases Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you are a victim of plastic surgery gone awry contact us. For more info on plastic surgery see the pages on medical malpractice and other articles on this site.

You can also see the pages on Wikipedia. If you are researching, interested in malpractice, or are concerned about other malpractice you may have experienced, read another malpractice-related blog.


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