Plastic surgery, although often elective surgery, is still surgery. That means it comes with risks of complications and other undesirable results. If you should find yourself suffering from complications, disfigurement or chronic pain, you do not have to grin and bear it. There are several courses of action you can take to protect yourself and others.
There are a few potential indicators for medical malpractice relating to cosmetic surgery. Some are pretty obvious, and others you may be completely unaware of. Here are a few things to look for.
- Failure to take a full patient history.
- Performing long procedures in a private office that is poorly equipped to handle complications.
- Using a nurse anesthetists instead of anesthesiologists.
- A surgeon who is not a plastic surgeon is operating.
No one wants to fall victim to bad plastic surgery, but all surgery comes with risks. Some more common complications that may result from plastic surgery include infection, blood clots, necrosis and wound separation. These complications are signs that something has gone wrong, and may require additional hospitalization or surgery to correct. Then there are more serious problems that may occur, including paralysis, severe scarring, disfigurement and even death. Unfortunately, death is a risk associated with any and every surgery.
Even non-invasive procedures come with risks, some of them quite serious and life-threatening. Injectable fillers, Lipodissolve treatments, thread lifts and others can result in a hematoma, severe bruising, scarring and more. Any cosmetic procedure, no matter how invasive or non-invasive, comes with fine print that should not be ignored.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your plastic surgery, it doesn’t mean that your operation was botched or that your surgeon is at fault. For instance, capsular contracture may occur after breast augmentation because the body is defending itself against what it perceives to be a threat, the implants. Although this is an unfavourable outcome, the surgeon isn’t the blame.
In the case that you believe that your cosmetic surgeon may be at fault for your suffering there are several things to do.
- Talk to your surgeon. Make sure that you’re getting proper post-op care. Remember that healing takes time, so ask for an estimated healing timeline and be sure to document all your communication with your surgeon. Write down dates, times, problems, complaints, take photographs and detailed notes.
- Get a second opinion. Consulting another plastic surgeon regarding your case can be very informative, especially if you have become distrustful of the doctor who performed your procedure.
- Contact your state’s licensing, medical board or professional association. Filing a complaint may help keep someone else from being harmed by the same doctor.
- Contact an attorney who has experience in medical malpractice suits. If you are indeed the victim of negligence or malpractice, then you may be able to legally seek compensation.
Be sure that your dissatisfaction is well founded. Ask yourself if your expectations were realistic. If you find that you’re not happy with the results of your plastic surgery and you want to have corrective or reconstructive surgery, you may need to wait at least a full year to make sure that you have completely healed from the preceding procedure to reduce the likelihood of complications. You are not powerless and you may not have to be saddled with the results of a plastic surgery operation gone badly.