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Can You Sue For Bad Plastic Surgery Results?

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Medical Malpractice on May 22, 2017

DISCLAIMER: Fiol & Morros Law Group offers representation for this type of case in Florida, as we are only licensed in this state. Information found in the post does not constitute as formal legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. If you have been harmed as a result of bad plastic surgery, please search for a lawyer in your geographic area.

What Is Plastic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery, commonly called plastic surgery, is different than other types of surgery because it is elective. A patient wishes to make a change to his or her body for some reason and hires a physician to perform the necessary procedures. Some forms of plastic surgery are not elective and are instead restorative procedures intended to repair an injured person’s appearance after suffering a disfiguring injury. In these situations, it is highly unlikely that a patient would want to sue his or her doctor for performing a restorative procedure. However, patients who choose elective surgery may feel as if they should they have some legal recourse if they don’t like the results. It’s vital to recognize the difficulty in pursuing these types of cases.

Can “Bad” Results Be Considered Malpractice?

Medical malpractice or hospital negligence defines any instance of a doctor or medical professional causing harm to a patient by acting in a manner contrary to acceptable standards in the medical community. Patients in these cases must prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed, the doctor acted negligently, and the negligent act resulted in actual harm to the patient. This is difficult to establish in cosmetic surgery lawsuits. More often than not, a patient may not completely approve of the results of an elective procedure and believe he or she can simply sue the plastic surgeon. However, there are very few factors that would encourage a Tampa, FL personal injury lawyer or St. Petersburg injury attorney to take a case like this.

If you’ve undergone an elective surgical procedure for purely cosmetic reasons, you cannot sue simply because you do not like the results. Plastic surgeons go to great lengths to explain their procedures and ascertain what their patients want to see happen after surgery. There are numerous protections in place that prevent doctors from being wrongfully accused of malpractice, and most lawyers won’t take a case against a plastic surgeon solely because the plaintiff does not like the results of a procedure he or she agreed to undergo.

How To Determine Malpractice

Although it’s very rare for plaintiffs to win lawsuits solely for disliking the results of an elective procedure, if a plastic surgeon caused any measure of harm to the patient through negligence, the patient will have a much stronger case. Some of the ways in which a plastic surgeon might incur liability for a surgery that warrants a lawsuit include:

Surgical Errors

For example, operating on the wrong part of the body or performing the wrong procedure on the wrong patient. This could also include a surgeon leaving a surgical instrument, medical sponge, or other device inside the patient that causes injury.

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia can cause significant damage or even death when administered improperly. If the doctor failed to consider a patient’s medical history or drug allergies and anesthesia causes harm, the patient can sue.

Failure To Secure Informed Consent

“Informed consent” is the concept of allowing patients to make educated decisions about their health care. Doctors and medical professionals must fully explain the risks and potential side effects of any treatment plan before administering any care.

Failure To Account For Medical History

It’s imperative for surgeons to consider their patients’ drug allergies, past procedures, medical conditions, and various other aspects of their medical histories before beginning any type of treatment.

Contact an Attorney Today

Medical malpractice lawsuits are notoriously complex and often entail undergoing a review process from the appropriate medical board. If such a review board deems malpractice occurred, the plaintiff can proceed with the lawsuit. Plastic surgery cases are especially intricate, so if you find yourself in such a situation and want to know your options, speak with a medical malpractice attorney in the Tampa area as soon as possible to start the process.