‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever .’ It is a natural human predisposition to be drawn to aesthetically beautiful things. Regardless of our perceptions of inner beauty, we all want to look and feel beautiful. This blog discusses cosmetic surgery errors, which are referred to as cosmetic surgery malpractice and cosmetic surgery lawsuits. I hope this blog will provide unique insights into cosmetic surgery claims and the challenges victims encounter in obtaining fair compensation for a failed cosmetic surgery.

In the United States, the medical liability system costs $55.6 billion, or 2.4 percent of overall healthcare spending. Plastic surgery malpractice statistics show that among the 3.31 percent of reported claims and 3.16 percent of paid claims are for plastic surgery. Total payments for plastic surgeons account for 1.75 percent of total compensation for all specialties.

Before diving into the topic, do you think plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are the same? If you believe so, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Remember that plastic surgeries and cosmetic procedures have different goals, even though they are sometimes used interchangeably.

What is Cosmetic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery is a type of plastic surgery carried out to improve an individual’s appearance and enhance beauty. It is also called aesthetic surgery and could be done in almost any body part. Since cosmetic surgery procedures do not treat any medical issues, they are categorized under elective procedures. Most of the health insurance carriers do not cover cosmetic surgeries’ expenses.

Specialized cosmetic surgeons carry out cosmetic surgeries and not by general surgeons. A bachelor’s degree, a doctoral degree, and a residency are required to become a cosmetic surgeon. Additionally, a state license is required, and the cosmetic surgeon should be Board certified by regulatory agencies such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).

Cosmetic procedures are most popular in the United States, India, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico. According to surveys, the United States leads in the number of nonsurgical cosmetic procedures performed, whereas Brazil dominates in the number of surgical cosmetic procedures.

Let’s us get to know what are the types of cosmetic surgery trending in the world.

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  1. Mammoplasty Procedures
  • Breast Augmentation.
  • Breast Reduction.
  • Breast Lift.
  • Male breast reduction.
  1. Liposuction/Fat Reduction
  • Hips liposuction.
  • Thighs liposuction.
  • Abdomen liposuction.
  • Upper arms liposuction.
  1. Body Contouring Procedures
  • Buttock augmentation.
  • Buttock Lift.
  1. Facial Cosmetic Surgery
  • Eyelid Surgery.
  • Rhinoplasty (altering the shape or appearance of the nose).
  • Otoplasty(changing the shape, position, or size of the ears).
  • Rhytidectomy (facelift surgery to overcome aging)
  • Chin augmentation

Noninvasive and less invasive cosmetic procedures include Botox injections, peels, fillers, grafts, laser treatment, hair transplantation, etc.

Let’s now move on to the origins and milestones of cosmetic procedures worldwide.

History of Cosmetic Procedures

As early as 800 B.C., physicians in ancient India used skin transplants for reconstructive surgery. More than 4,000 years ago, there was documentation of surgical techniques to treat facial injuries. History says that there was a decline in cosmetic procedures and trials during the seventeenth century.

‘War is never a good idea,’ and the evolution of cosmetic procedures had witnessed the darker sides of World War I during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Modern weapons resulted in facial injuries, burn injuries, disfigured jaws, blown-off noses and lips, massive skull wounds, scars, and disfigurement, necessitating novel mending techniques.

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Military physicians gave their heart and soul, making all-out efforts in reconstructive surgical procedures to save their veterans. Apart from wound management, sterile techniques, anesthesia, and many other medical advancements, several advancements were made in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.

Doctor John Peter Mettauer performed the first cleft palate procedure in 1827; Doctor Charles Miller pinned the first book expressly written on cosmetic surgery almost a century later, in 1907. Between 1887-and 1905, the New York Medical Record published their articles on rhinoplasty and dermabrasion.

Answering the Top 5 Cosmetic Surgery FAQs

To better understand cosmetic surgery malpractice and the cosmetic surgery malpractice lawsuits, it is essential to find the answers to your frequent queries on the procedure.

Is cosmetic surgery common?

Absolutely yes. Statistics indicate that the United States had the most cosmetic procedures in 2020, with over 4.6 million surgical cosmetic procedures and 3.1 million nonsurgical procedures. In 2019, around 39 percent of the cosmetic procedures were performed on individuals aged between 35 and 50.

What is the most common cosmetic surgery?

The most common cosmetic surgery is breast augmentation, followed by liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, tummy tuck, and facelift.

Is cosmetic surgery painful?

Depending on the procedure and your pain tolerance, it could be different. Like any other surgical procedure, cosmetic surgeries are performed under anesthesia, and you will not experience any pain during the procedure. You may have pain after the anesthesia wears off, which will be treated with suitable pain relievers.

Is cosmetic surgery safe?

When an expert cosmetic surgeon performs on patients of the proper age, health, and other critical factors, cosmetic surgery treatments are perfectly safe. Like any other procedure, cosmetic surgery carries the risk of repercussions for smokers, the elderly, and the obese. You can also check out obesitycontroller.com for more information related to obesity.

What are the pros and cons of cosmetic surgery?

Pros:

Cosmetic surgery boosts an individual’s

  • Person’s appearance.
  • Self-esteem.
  • Self-confidence.
  • Feeling of well-being.
  • Social activities.
  • Career(models, actors, artists, and celebrities)

Cons:

The side effects and complications are the cons of cosmetic surgeries. Dissatisfaction about the results is a frequent issue associated with cosmetic surgery procedures. The other common cosmetic surgery complications are as follows.

  • Hematoma.
  • Fluid accumulation.
  • Blood loss.
  • Infections.
  • Anesthesia complications.
  • Scarring.
  • Nerve and organ damages.
  • Paralysis
  • Death.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits for Cosmetic Surgery Errors     

Can you sue a cosmetic surgeon?

Like any other medical malpractice claim, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit for the errors in cosmetic surgery procedures. Claiming for medical malpractice in cosmetic surgery should be done within the statute of limitations mandated by the states in the U.S. Pursuing cosmetic surgery lawsuits demand the below-mentioned elements to be established.

  • The existence of a physician-patient relationship.
  • There was a breach of the medical standard of care during the treatment.
  • The breach of standard care ended up in harm to the patient.

Claiming for medical malpractice in cosmetic surgery should be done within the statute of limitations demanded by the states in the U.S. As per the California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5, the plaintiff should file the cosmetic surgery malpractice claim within one year of discovering the harmful impact of the surgery and should not exceed three years. Florida Statutes section 95.11(4)(b) demands the lawsuit to be filed within two years of discovering the error. Hiring a cosmetic surgery malpractice lawyer is cardinal to understand the possibilities and deadlines of cosmetic surgery lawsuits. Seeking legal assistance would help the claimant prove the liability of a cosmetic surgeon.

How to win cosmetic surgery lawsuit?

The strength of a cosmetic surgery malpractice claim would increase under the following circumstances.

  • When the surgeon is not licensed to perform a cosmetic surgery.
  • When the surgeon had conducted a difficult procedure in a private office instead of a hospital or outpatient surgery center with better facilities.
  • When the surgeon did not discuss the risks associated with the kind of surgery undergone by the claimant.
  • When the surgeon conducted surgery on the wrong body part.
  • When the surgeon did not get the informed consent from the patient for the cosmetic surgery.
  • When the surgeon did not use standard surgical techniques during the procedure.
  • When the surgeon deviated from acceptable medical practices.

The arguments mentioned above could be substantiated only with the help of the claimant’s medical records that indicate the health history of the claimant before and after the surgical procedure. By winning a cosmetic surgery malpractice claim, the claimant is eligible for financial compensation, including punitive damages to punish the at-fault surgeon and deter other doctors from potentially harming their patients.

Cosmetic surgery malpractice lawyers trust medical record review companies like LezDo techmed, where the medical evidence required to boost the claim is cherry-picked along with the expenses incurred by the claimant, need for future corrective surgeries, pain, and suffering sustained, etc.

Drop your files here if you hunt for the best medical record review service for a cosmetic surgery malpractice lawsuit.

Mickey Rourke, Linda Evangelista, and Janice Dickinson, among others, have spoken out about their negative experiences with cosmetic surgery procedures. Some of them are even working to raise public awareness about the necessity of accepting one’s physical imperfections, such as body shape, skin tone, and smile.

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Challenges in Winning a Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice Claim

Unlike other medical malpractice claims, there are legal difficulties in proving cosmetic surgery lawsuits. The main challenge is that cosmetic surgeries are elective procedures done by individuals on their wish and not based on any medical emergencies. This makes the legal rights complicated for the victim, making the cosmetic surgery malpractice claim challenging.

The judgement that the subject chose the procedure to improve their physical appearance rather than for medical reasons overrides issues like the surgeon’s incompetence, post-operative infections, procedural errors, or anything encountered after cosmetic surgery. Victims are frequently blamed for choosing the surgeon, procedure, dangers, and side effects. Most of the time, a lawsuit is judged ‘unnecessary’ because the victim invited the misfortune.

As cosmetic surgeries are elective procedures, the lawsuit often demands expert witness testimony to shoulder the claimant’s arguments. The claimant needs to hire an expert witness specialized in cosmetic surgery to establish the standard of care that the defendant should have given. Only with the expert witness’s testimony can the claimant establish how the defendant surgeon breached that standard of care in the particular procedure.

Jury bias could be another issue in cases involving cosmetic surgery. Even if there was genuine malpractice, some jurors might assume that the plaintiff was simply dissatisfied with the procedure’s outcome. This would critically make a claim weak.

The defendant may portray that the claimant had preexisting medical conditions that affected the success of the procedure and led to complications. As indicated earlier, obesity, age-related illnesses, smoking, or drug addiction history in the medical records may critically affect the chances of winning cosmetic surgery lawsuits.

Can You Sue for Unsatisfactory Cosmetic Surgery Results?

No, unless there are some exceptional circumstances. Satisfaction of the patient about his physical appearance after the elective surgery and the success rate of the procedure are the two flip sides of a cosmetic surgery procedure. In certain instances, the patient may not feel satisfied with their new look even after clinically successful surgery, which would not be considered cosmetic surgery malpractice.

Unhappy results are not considered injuries or cosmetic surgery errors, unless there are valid reasons for dissatisfaction, such as visible scarring or disfigurement in the surgery area. The medical malpractice attorney may accept such cases only after finding certain specific criteria in the claimant’s claim.

Let us wind up the blog with some tips and tricks.

Cosmetic surgery malpractice cases are hard to gain. Medical malpractice in cosmetic surgery should be filed promptly and with sufficient medical evidence. In the process, never underestimate the importance of your medical records. Medical charts would better support a cosmetic surgery malpractice lawyer’s arguments.

Because the effects of surgical cosmetic procedures are permanent, the individual should be aware of the dangers and adverse effects of cosmetic surgery. It is always a good idea to photograph each stage of your treatment to assess its success. It would also assist the client in keeping track of any surgical errors.

The cosmetic surgeon should have a thorough talk with patients, clearly detailing the surgery and any potential consequences. Instead of undergoing unneeded cosmetic operations, patients with illnesses like Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) should be counseled to appreciate and accept their physical traits. Individuals undergoing surgery should be aware of the physical and psychological impacts of the healing process on them.

Have you ever had a botched surgery or a bad encounter with a cosmetic procedure? Let us know how you handled the situation.