Medical Malpractice and Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery is a popular way for men and women to achieve the features they want. Cosmetic surgery is generally safe and low-risk, but a negligent doctor, surgical errors, or defective products used during surgery can increase the risk of serious injury or even death.
If you suffered an injury during your cosmetic surgery, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. The medical malpractice lawyers at Zucker & Regev, P.C. in Brooklyn, NY, can investigate your case and determine whether negligence or wrongdoing occurred. Filing a medical malpractice claim after cosmetic surgery can help you hold a negligent doctor accountable for their actions and help you recover compensation.
What Are the Most Popular Cosmetic Surgeries?
The Plastic Surgery Statistics Report for 2020 noted that the five most popular cosmetic surgeries in the United States were:
- Nose reshaping: 352,555 procedures, down 3% from 2019, down 9% compared to 2000
- Eyelid surgery: 325,112 procedures, down 8% from 2019, down 1% compared to 2000
- Facelift: 234,374 procedures, down 11% from 2019, up 75% compared to 2000
- Liposuction: 211,067 procedures, down 20% from 2019, down 40% compared to 2000
- Breast augmentation: 193,073 procedures, down 33% from 2019, down 9% compared to 2000
The top five most popular minimally-invasive cosmetic surgeries in the United States in 2020 were:
- Botox: 4.4 million procedures, down 13% from 2019,
- Soft-tissue fillers: 3.4 million procedures, down 11% from 2019,
- Laser skin resurfacing: 997,245 procedures, down 8% from 2019,
- Chemical peel: 931,473 procedures, down 33% from 2019,
- Intense pulse light: 827,409, down 12% from 2019.
What Are the Risks of Cosmetic Surgery?
The ten most common risks in cosmetic surgery procedures include:
- Hematoma: A pocket of blood that appears as a sizable bruise to the skin. Getting rid of the hematoma may require additional surgery and anesthesia.
- Seroma: A sometimes painful pool of bodily fluid beneath the skin, which causes swelling of the skin. The surgeon will often drain the fluid with a needle.
- Blood loss: A risk of any surgery, blood loss can lead to a drop in blood pressure and even death.
- Infection: One of the most common risks of surgical procedures, infections that are serious may require intravenous antibiotics.
- Nerve damage: Nerve damage presents as tingling or numbness after plastic surgery. The condition may be temporary or permanent.
- Blood clots: Blood clots breaking off and traveling to the lungs (pulmonary embolism) aren’t common. When they do develop, pulmonary embolism can result in death.
- Organ damage: Perforations or punctures in the internal organs during plastic surgery procedures may require additional surgery to correct. In serious cases, organ damage can be fatal.
- Scarring: Hypertrophic scars are thick, raised scars that develop as an abnormal response to surgery. Keloid scars are large raised scars. While minor scarring should be expected after surgical procedures, extensive scarring could be a sign of negligence or a result of infection.
- Dissatisfaction: Personal dissatisfaction with the surgical results can occur, predominantly in facial surgery and breast surgery where asymmetric issues may present.
- Anesthesia complications: Anesthesia complications can cause lung infection, heart attacks, strokes and, in the worst case scenario, death. There are also rare cases where patients awake during the procedure.
How Attorneys Prove Malpractice
When a plaintiff files a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff's attorney must prove these four elements of negligence:
- The physician owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (the doctor-patient relationship is evidence of a duty of care)
- The physician breached that duty of care (the doctor was negligent),
- The physician's breach (negligence) caused the plaintiff's injuries, and
- The plaintiff suffered injuries (such as pain, suffering, additional medical bills, or lost wages).
In most states, laws known as the "statutes of limitations" mean that the injured person must bring an action for medical malpractice within a short period of time. That time limit varies state by state. In New York, the time limit is two years and six months from the date the injury occurred or the end of the course of treatment provided by the doctor.
If the injured person waits until after the end of the statute of limitations period, a malpractice action against the doctor is "time-barred" and the court will dismiss the case. Consequently, it is important to consult with our Brooklyn attorneys as soon as possible.
When considering a malpractice action for personal injuries suffered at the hands of a plastic surgeon, it is critical to choose an experienced medical malpractice team.
The personal injury lawyers at Zucker & Regev, P.C. in Brooklyn, New York have almost 40 years of experience, and our vast knowledge of medical practice provides you with an enormous advantage, allowing you to aggressively pursue the justice you deserve.
Call us at (718) 624-1211 today to schedule a consultation or send us an online message to learn how we can help you take the steps toward recovery for your injuries.