Everyone deserves to feel good about their appearance and the way that they look. For many people, this often means electing to undergo plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery in order to improve a feature that they do not like. Though these procedures may not be needed in the strictest medical sense, they often provide an invaluable boost of confidence to the patients who choose them.
Even though a surgery may be elective, cosmetic surgery patients are entitled to a professional standard of care. Like any other health care professional, a plastic surgery physician has a responsibility to act reasonably and treat patients with the same manner of care as would any other doctor. When a physician breaches this duty, he or she may be liable for medical malpractice.
What Is Not Malpractice?
Cosmetic surgery can be performed for a wide variety of reasons, from correcting scars to elective breast augmentation, rhinoplasties, and liposuctions. While no surgeon would guarantee perfect results, patients still have a right to expect their doctors to perform the surgery to the best of their ability.
Even though doctors can use advanced computer software or other imaging techniques to “show” a patient what the end results of a procedure will be, occasionally a patient may not like his or her new look. While this is undoubtedly disappointing, providing unsatisfactory results is not the same as committing medical malpractice.
In order to prove malpractice, a patient must show that the doctor did or failed to do something which caused an injury or lasting physical harm. In addition, the patient must show that the doctor’s actions were so reckless or negligent as to be below what any other doctor in the same position would consider reasonable.
Indicators of Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice
Plastic surgery can go wrong in many ways. Many doctors advertise themselves as plastic surgeons after only taking a single course in the area, and are not as skilled as professional cosmetic surgeons. Still other spas or boutique cosmetic doctor’s offices may offer minor plastic surgery which is not performed by qualified doctors or medical professionals.
When a non-plastic surgeon performs cosmetic surgery, or when the surgery center skimps on other professionals like anesthesiologists, this can be indicative of malpractice. In addition, centers which perform plastic surgery far away from hospitals may be ill-equipped to deal with complications from the surgery, leading to unnecessary surgical or post-operative injuries.
Though it is common for many people to take a derisive attitude about plastic surgery, the injuries which result from malpractice can be serious. Common malpractice injuries after cosmetic surgery include scarring or disfigurement, skin discoloration, drooping or caving at the surgical site, excessive bleeding, infections, paralysis and death.
If you or a loved one has suffered from any of these complications after an elective procedure, or if you believe that your physician deviated from your instructions and performed a procedure without your consent, you may have a lawsuit for malpractice.
Whether or not a plastic surgeon can be held liable for an injury is often a complicated issue of both medicine and law. When your case depends on both of these areas, you should seek the advice of Attorney Bradley I. Kramer, M.D. As both a doctor and a lawyer, he and his team of dedicated legal and medical professionals use their expertise to help you get justice after an injury caused by someone else’s negligence.
For a free consultation at the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., call us today at (310) 289-2600 or use our online contact form to have your case reviewed for free.