Plastic Surgery Medical Mistakes New York City Medical Errors Lawyer Explains
Because most plastic surgery procedures are voluntary rather than medically necessary, people don’t often feel the same stress level or anxiety about “going under the knife.” For many patients, cosmetic procedures are about improving their self-esteem and feeling more confident. Everyone has the right to be their best self, and cosmetic surgery is a perfectly viable way to enhance a person’s natural appearance.
In fact, Americans are undergoing more cosmetic procedures than ever before. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, doctors performed 17.5 million cosmetic procedures in 2017 — an increase of two percent from the previous year. Each year, Americans spend over $7 billion on cosmetic surgery.
However, plastic surgery is still surgery. Like any surgical procedure, it is certainly not without risk. From anesthesia errors to uncontrolled bleeding and infection, there are many ways in which a cosmetic surgery can go terribly wrong. In some cases, a doctor’s mistake causes a patient to suffer serious harm. In the most catastrophic cases, a patient dies due to a doctor’s mistake during plastic surgery.
Top 5 Most Common Plastic Surgery Procedures
Just because a surgery is considered routine doesn’t mean it is totally safe. No matter what the medical procedure, it’s important for patients to understand their risks. It’s also important to select a doctor who is knowledgeable and experienced.
In the United States, certain cosmetic procedures are more popular than others. The top five most common cosmetic surgeries include:
- Breast augmentation – over 290,000 procedures each year
- Liposuction – over 235,000 procedures each year
- Nose reshaping – more than 223,000 procedures each year
- Eyelid surgeries – over 209,000 procedures each year
- Facelifts – more than 131,000 procedures each year
There are also several common minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, which don’t require hospitalization or general anesthesia. These procedures are Botox injections, soft tissue fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal, and microdermabrasion.
Unfortunately, “minimally invasive” does not ever mean risk-free. For example, a few of the risks associated with chemical peels include burning, edema or swelling, complications with vision, scarring, pigmentation changes in the skin, and serious infections. Researchers state that complications are more likely to occur when a medical professional lacks proper training in administering chemical peels.
5 Serious Plastic Surgery Complications
Some plastic surgery mistakes that may give rise to a medical malpractice claim include:
Infection – Infection is always a risk regardless of the type of surgery. In the most serious cases, a patient can develop an infection that is resistant to antibiotics. This can lead to systemic organ failure and even death.
Pulmonary Embolism – A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that breaks off and travels to the lungs. In some cases, pulmonary embolism causes almost instant death. While some cases of pulmonary embolism are not preventable, other happen because doctors and other medical professionals fail to properly monitor a patient.
Anesthesia Errors – Any time a patient is put under general anesthesia, serious complications are always a risk. Anesthesia errors can occur when an anesthesiologist administers the wrong type of drug or the wrong dosage of a drug. These mistakes can also happen when doctors fail to check a patient’s medical history for allergies or known drug complications.
Blood Loss – Hemorrhage is another risk that can happen during any type of surgery. When a doctor’s mistake leads to a massive loss of blood, patients can go into shock or experience other serious complications.
Damage to Organs – Depending on the type of cosmetic procedure, doctors might need to operate very close to a patient’s major organs. If a doctor cuts or otherwise damages an organ or major blood vessel, a patient can suffer serious and long-term complications.
In most cases, a patient who is simply dissatisfied with how they look after a plastic surgery does not have a medical malpractice case.
To establish a medical malpractice case, a plastic surgery patient must prove four basic elements:
- The doctor owed the patient a duty of care – The patient must prove that the doctor owed him a duty of care.
- The doctor breached the duty of care – The patient must also show that the doctor breached the duty of care by failing to adhere to the appropriate standards of care in his practice area.
- The patient suffered an injury – The patient must show that he suffered an injury due to the doctor’s breach.
- The injury caused the patient to incur damages – The patient must also show that he suffered damages because of his injury.
New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter T:212-736-0979
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Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved.