With the stigma associated with plastic surgery fading, the number of Americans undergoing the procedure has increased significantly. However, like regular surgeries, plastic surgery has risks and can go wrong due to human error or negligence by the health care provider. Plastic surgery is expensive, and your last wish is to pay hefty amounts of money only for the surgeon performing the procedure and for the staff to disregard protocols, causing botched surgery or post-operative complications. If you are injured or have lost a loved one, you should not bear the expenses and pain alone. You deserve compensation from the liable medical professional.
Proving personal injuries to obtain compensation is challenging and should not be used by unsatisfied patients to sue surgeons for not giving them the desired new look. At the Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we understand that the only basis for suing is when you suffer actual injuries caused by the surgeon’s or their staff’s negligence. We partner with expert witnesses, private investigators, and other parties to evaluate your case and build a solid claim that will help prove medical malpractice or negligence to merit reasonable compensation. Also, we work on a contingency basis, so the cost of our services should not be a problem for you.
Phoenix Plastic Surgery Classification
Plastic surgery involves reconstructing, altering, or restoring human body parts. It is categorized as reconstructive or cosmetic.
Reconstructive plastic operations aim at restoring functions and looks, and their primary objective is to correct deformities stemming from trauma, congenital disabilities, or medical illnesses. As per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 5.9 million Americans underwent reconstructive surgery in 2019. Examples of these procedures are:
- Breast reconstruction due to a mastectomy.
- Craniofacial surgery.
- Skin graft following burns.
- Tumor removal.
- Maxillofacial surgery.
- Hand surgery.
On the other hand, cosmetic plastic operations are elective procedures undertaken for physical appearance and are not medically required. The surgeries are more prevalent, with 18.1 million people undergoing them in 2019. Cosmetic surgery includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Eyelid surgery.
- Breast augmentation.
- Tummy tucks.
- Collagen and fillers.
Whether your operation is reconstructive or cosmetic, you are entitled to competent treatment and post-operative care. While most of these procedures are performed by qualified medical professionals, resulting in favorable outcomes, some professionals engage in malpractice or make errors that adversely affect your appearance and health.
Common Phoenix Plastic Surgery Injuries
Medical professionals must follow proper protocols when performing plastic surgery and providing postoperative care. If the health care providers fail to meet the set standards during the surgery, you will sustain serious injuries or even lose your life. Some of the damages you can suffer from a plastic surgery procedure are:
When undergoing breast enlargement surgery or a facelift, you will likely develop a hematoma. Hematomas are blood accumulations under the skin that cause massive and painful bruises. You will need another surgery to alleviate the pain caused by a hematoma.
After plastic surgery, like breast augmentation, tingling and numbness are normal. Nevertheless, when the problem persists, it could indicate that you have suffered nerve damage from the surgery. The nerve damage could be temporary, but for 15% of women undergoing breast augmentation, the damage is permanent, and they lose nipple sensation.
Many patients who opt for liposuction believe the treatment is minimally invasive. Despite this, the procedure puts internal organs under immense stress, causing organ damage. Also, the surgeon can make surgical errors by perforating or puncturing internal organs during treatment. Perforations in an internal organ must be repaired immediately; failure to do so can result in death.
Adverse Reaction to Anesthesia
Before undergoing plastic surgery, an anesthesiologist or anesthetist must administer local or general anesthetic based on the type of surgery to make you unconscious or make the operation virtually painless. Nevertheless, anesthesia can cause severe reactions, mainly if you are allergic to particular medications. The complications caused by the adverse reaction include stroke, death, lung infection, or heart attack.
An experienced surgeon or anesthetist will want to know your medical history and whether you have any allergic reactions to particular medications to avoid using anesthesia that will react adversely with your body. If the medical professional did not inquire about your allergic reaction to drugs or you informed them, but they disregarded the information, you can file a claim for the anesthesia complications.
You should expect to lose blood during plastic surgery. Nevertheless, even though blood loss is usual, it can result in death if not adequately controlled. Excessive blood loss during or after surgery causes low blood pressure and can lead to death if uncontrolled.
It is typical to have scars after surgery. If you have an experienced surgeon perform the procedure, the scarring will be minimal. However, some surgeons leave you with thick, raised, red scars called hypertrophic scars you do not want to see. This scarring is common in patients who have undergone tummy tucks.
You develop seromas after plastic surgery when serum or sterile body fluid builds up beneath the skin, causing inflammation and pain. The condition affects 15% to 30% of patients undergoing tummy tucks, per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons report. It becomes even more severe when the serum is infected. Surgeons treat the condition by draining the body fluid, although the serum can collect again in the same area.
Plastic surgery can result in deep vein blood clots or thrombosis, which generally develop in the legs. When the clot travels from the legs to the lungs, it causes a pulmonary embolism, which causes death. These forms of blood clots are common in patients who undergo abdominoplasty.
When you experience any of these complications after treatment because medical experts neglect to provide acceptable standards of care, you should seek compensation for the trauma you suffer from these injuries.
Instances when Failed Plastic Surgery is Deemed Medical Malpractice
Plastic surgery, primarily reconstructive surgery, should be taken seriously like any other medical surgery. When you enter the theater or surgery room, you expect standard protocols to be followed by the anesthesiologist, surgeon, and nurses. Your surgeon must provide acceptable standards of care like other medical professionals in other hospitals do under the same circumstances.
However, when the surgeon neglects these protocols, and you sustain injuries or lose a loved one because of their negligence, you can bring a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation.
In plastic surgery, medical malpractice happens under several circumstances. It can occur due to surgical or pre-operative errors when the medical care provider administers the wrong anesthesia or dosage. Also, it can happen when the surgeon performs the incorrect surgical procedure, leaves objects in the body, or performs the surgery on the wrong body part.
Another way medical malpractice happens in plastic surgery is when it is performed by medical professionals lacking proper training or knowledge of the procedure.
Also, your surgeon should explain all the benefits and risks of the treatment so that you can weigh the merits and demerits and make an informed decision. Also, it would help if you jotted down an acceptance letter acknowledging the risks of the treatment. When a plastic surgeon neglects to inform you of the dangers, and you consent to the decision without being told of the risks, you can sue the surgeon for medical malpractice.
Furthermore, a plastic surgeon engages in medical malpractice when they neglect to acquire and evaluate your complete medical history before the procedure. The medical provider must know whether you have allergies, the medication you are currently using, and other medical issues you have had in the past before the operation.
It would help to know that not all failed surgeries are attributed to medical malpractice. If you regret plastic surgery, are unsatisfied with the aesthetic results, or experience postoperative complications, you cannot sue the surgeon or hospital for medical malpractice.
Nevertheless, when the surgeon nicks an artery, causing organ damage or excessive bleeding, neglects to keep a sterile setting, resulting in fatal infections, or leaves an object in the body cavity, you can sue for the injuries or death caused by the negligence. At the Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we will investigate your claim to identify the cause of your injuries and file a factual medical malpractice claim after botched plastic surgery.
Actions to Take When You Suspect Medical Malpractice or Surgical Errors in Plastic Surgery
When you are convinced your injuries or the death of a loved one result from surgical errors or medical malpractice during plastic surgery, you should take several steps to protect your future well-being and finances.
First, visit the hospital or medical facility where the procedure was performed and request the medical report and records. These records contain the type of plastic surgery you underwent, the reasons for the treatment, and the medical experts, including surgeons, anesthetists, and nurses, involved in the treatment. The report also contains details of the process followed during the surgery.
Having sustained injuries from the treatment shows you are not happy with the work done by the surgeon of your choice. Therefore, you cannot have the same expert analyze your medical report and give an honest verdict on the reasons for the injuries or death following the surgery. Therefore, once you obtain the medical information and relevant records from the medical provider, you should seek the opinion of another plastic surgeon. The professional will review the report thoroughly and point out negligence or malpractice that could have led to the symptoms you are experiencing.
Once the trusted surgeon has reviewed your medical report, they will give you a detailed statement, including a diagnosis of your injuries, suggest the proper treatment to remedy the situation, and provide a projection for the damages.
With the help of a trusted medical professional, you will understand your injuries and the negligence or surgical errors that could have contributed to them. Now that you know your injuries and the cause, it is time to reach out to the Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm to review the evidence you have and give you the way forward. If further investigations are needed, our private investigators will find the evidence necessary to build a solid claim against the liable party.
When bringing an injury claim against your plastic surgeon for a botched surgery, you must understand that surgeons do not guarantee the desired outcome. Being unsatisfied with the procedure's result and sustaining injuries because of malpractice or negligence are separate issues. Nevertheless, even if the surgeon cannot guarantee the procedure's outcome, you have the right to the highest standards of care. If your surgeon falls short of these standards or fails to handle you with the same care a sober surgeon in the same circumstances would have, causing injuries or the demise of a loved one, you can file an injury claim.
Elements of Arizona Plastic Surgery Medical Malpractice
Filing a successful claim after sustaining injuries in a plastic surgery procedure is challenging because of the complexity of these cases. You must demonstrate several elements of the claim to obtain compensation. When you decide to work with a particular plastic surgeon, you and the medical expert enter into a rapport where the medical expert owes you a duty of care to handle the procedure according to the acceptable standards of the medical field. To demonstrate that a surgeon is liable for your injuries or harm, your attorney must prove the following elements:
- The medical care providers owed you a duty of care.
- The medical experts violated this duty through negligence.
- The negligence, whether medical malpractice or surgical errors, was the direct cause of your injuries.
- The harm sustained led to general and special damages.
It is hard to contest the patient-physician relationship in surgical negligence cases. Therefore, your attorney will focus on proving that the surgeon owed you the same degree of care that another surgeon with the same skills would have provided in the same circumstances.
Once this element is proven, the next step is demonstrating that the surgeon breached this duty. Your attorney will involve expert witnesses at this stage because proving a responsibility violation is not easy, considering plastic surgery has several risks, which the surgeon informs you of beforehand. The witness will point out instances in the medical report or records where the liable surgeon could have breached protocols directly, causing injuries. If the injury sustained is part of the complications discussed before the start of treatment, you will not have a claim or lawsuit.
Damages Available in Plastic Surgery Medical Malpractice or Surgical Errors Claim
When a plastic surgeon causes you harm, you are eligible for several damages. If the losses incurred from the injuries can be assigned a value and you have receipts or paperwork to estimate them, they are categorized as economic damages. They include the following:
- Medical expenses.
- Lost wages.
- Reconstruction expenses.
- Funeral and burial costs if the harm results in death.
Another category of damages you can pursue are the non-economic ones. These seek to reimburse you for the harm suffered due to the injuries stemming from the operation. They are difficult to assign a dollar value to because no paperwork or receipts are involved. You will need an economic expert to value them, and they include the following:
- Pain and anguish.
- Disfigurement and physical scarring.
- The surgery injuries themselves.
- Loss of future income or opportunities.
- Loss of consortium.
- Wrongful death.
Lastly, the court can award punitive damages when the action or inaction by your surgeon that led to the injuries was malicious. These damages aim to punish the liable parties and deter others from engaging in the same conduct.
At the Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we can help you obtain maximum damages in your claim by overcoming the multiple hurdles in these cases.
Challenges in Plastic Surgery Lawsuits or Claims
With the help of a knowledgeable injury attorney, you can file a successful plastic surgery claim. Nevertheless, you will encounter several hurdles or obstacles that could prevent you from winning the case. The challenges include the following:
The Surgery Was Not Necessary
Plastic surgery, mainly cosmetic surgery, is non compulsory and unnecessary for your survival or good health. The court assumes that if you opted for it, you understood the risks and should not blame the surgeon for a botched procedure. They tend to side with the plastic surgeon, resulting in an unfavorable outcome. Nevertheless, even if your attorney works hard for a favorable outcome, the compensation will be significantly lower than the damages in regular surgical claims because the jurors believe you are partly responsible for the harm.
Some jurors tend to believe you had a lot of money to spend on an unnecessary treatment or did not want to work out, so you opted for plastic surgery. In their human nature, they need to punish you for your poor decisions. Others have undergone successful plastic surgeries and blame you for picking an incompetent surgeon. Therefore, associating the injuries with the surgeon can be challenging.
You can avoid being denied compensation or obtaining minimum damages by working with an experienced injury attorney to defend your rights.
Find a Knowledgeable Plastic Surgery Injury Attorney Near Me
Plastic surgery errors or medical malpractice are not less serious than other regular surgery claims. Even if you picked the wrong surgeon for treatment or understood the risks, you deserve compensation for the harm. At the Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we are your best chance of overcoming juror prejudice and obtaining maximum compensation. Call us today at 602-641-9589 to begin the journey of seeking compensation.