Introduction to Claims for Cosmetic Surgery Compensation

This article covers some of the common reasons for making a claim for a botched cosmetic surgical procedure, and the criteria which need to be satisfied in order to make a legal claim to recover cosmetic surgery compensation.

If you have had a cosmetic surgery procedure completed in the past two years, and it has not produced the desired results, of if you have suffered complications with cosmetic surgery due to a mistake that was made by a plastic surgeon, it may be possible for you to make a cosmetic surgery claim for compensation.

A successful cosmetic surgery claim will allow you to receive recompense for your pain, suffering and loss, in addition to recovering the cost of corrective treatments to repair the damage caused by a negligent plastic surgeon. It is not always possible for cosmetic surgery injury claims to be made, as many factors can affect the right to claim personal injury compensation for a cosmetic surgery error. To find out if you have a valid claim which is worth your while pursuing, you should contact a medical negligence solicitor to discuss your case.

Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Negligence

In order for cosmetic surgery compensation to be claimed you must have come to harm as a result of having plastic surgery, although it is sometimes possible to recover compensation when a surgical procedure has not had the desired effect. Provided that it can be established and proven that a cosmetic surgeon was negligent through action or inaction, causing harm, complications with cosmetic surgery or disfigurement, it should be possible to make a cosmetic surgery claim.

Negligence means that a surgeon has acted in an incompetent manner, used poor professional judgement or performed a surgical procedure without due care and attention being paid to the health of the patient. Negligence also covers a failure to inform a patient of the risks of a surgical procedure, misleading a patient about the probability of success, performing unnecessary procedures and inadequacies in patient follow up procedures.

Proving negligence is not always straightforward in cosmetic surgery injury claims. Even if negligence is suspected, it can only be confirmed by an expert doctor or plastic surgeon. After a case has been investigated by a medical negligence solicitor, and evidence of an injury has been collected, an independent medical expert will be consulted to review the case to establish whether – under the circumstances – the surgeon was negligent and responsible for a patient coming to harm.

If it can be proven ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that the plastic surgeon was at fault, and injuries could have been prevented had the appropriate level of care been provided, it should be possible for compensation for a cosmetic surgery error to be recovered against the surgeon´s liability insurance policy.

Compensation for Complications with Cosmetic Surgery

There are health risks associated with any surgical procedure, and a competent and skilful cosmetic surgeon should therefore take all the necessary steps to ensure that the risk of a patient suffering an injury during surgery is kept to the minimum possible level.

All surgical procedures should be properly planned and during the procedure a surgeon should be particularly attentive to the health of a patient. If complications with cosmetic surgery develop, they should be addressed promptly and expertly to minimise any damage caused. When a cosmetic surgeon makes an error and injures a patient, or deals with medical complications inexpertly, it should be possible for a cosmetic surgery claim to be made.

It is usually possible to make compensation claims for complications with cosmetic surgery for the following health problems:

  • Excessive scarring during plastic surgery
  • Infections suffered post surgery
  • Perforated internal organs
  • Excessive bleeding and haematomas
  • Nerve damage during plastic surgery procedures
  • Anaesthetic related health problems
  • Sensory impairment
  • Implant rupturing
  • Health complications suffered after surgery

If you have suffered any of these complications with cosmetic surgery, or have otherwise been injured or disfigured, you should seek legal advice from a medical negligence solicitor about making cosmetic surgery injury claims. A solicitor will assess whether a claim for compensation for a cosmetic surgery error can be made under the circumstances, in addition to calculating the amount of cosmetic surgery compensation that can be recovered.

Claiming for a Surgical Error During Cosmetic Surgery

The aim of cosmetic surgery is to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the body; however cosmetic surgery gone wrong can have the exact opposite effect and frequently leaves a patient disfigured and scarred. A surgical error during cosmetic surgery often has profound implications for the patient, and may lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering; both physically and mentally. Patients are also made to suffer financially because of surgical errors, as it is necessary to pay for expensive corrective surgical procedures to repair the damage caused by a negligent plastic surgeon.

Claiming cosmetic surgery compensation for a surgical error during cosmetic surgery can help to ease the pain and suffering caused and, while it is not possible to turn back the clock, an award of compensation for a cosmetic surgery error will ensure that a patient is not made to suffer financially due to the negligence of a cosmetic surgeon. The cost of corrective treatments can be claimed to rectify complications with cosmetic surgery and to improve physical appearance after plastic surgery has gone wrong.

Provided an error was made which can be attributed to negligence of the surgeon, it should be possible to make a cosmetic surgery claim to receive recompense for pain, suffering and loss. Although any surgical error can form the basis of cosmetic surgery injury claims, whether it will be worth while making a claim will depend on the severity of the injuries sustained, and how they affect the victim´s quality of life.

Breast Implant Surgery Error Claims

Breast augmentation surgery has a high success rate and many women are delighted with the results achieved by the surgeon. However, when breast augmentation goes wrong the results can be disastrous, leading to psychological problems being suffered, and in some cases serious health problems can develop. Breast implant surgery error claims should be possible if a surgeon has acted with negligence at any point from the initial consultation to the provision of post surgery care. The most common reasons why a cosmetic surgery claim is made for breast implant surgery are listed below; although, if a health problem is not listed, it does not mean that cosmetic surgery injury claims cannot be made.

  • Rupturing of breast implants
  • Uneven breasts and unnatural positioning
  • Infections
  • Implant rippling
  • Poor management of capsular contraction
  • Loss of nipple sensation
  • Scarring

If you are not happy with the outcome of breast augmentation surgery, the first step to take is to speak with your plastic surgeon. Many women are able to have a further procedure conducted to correct any aesthetic problems, which may be performed by the plastic surgeon without charge. However, undergoing a second operation increases the risk of a patient suffering complications with cosmetic surgery, and many women would not want to be operated on by a surgeon who has already failed to conduct a procedure with due care and attention.

Making a claim for compensation for a cosmetic surgery error enables a victim of medical negligence to opt for corrective surgery by an alternative surgeon. Cosmetic surgery compensation can also be claimed to recoup other costs and expenses incurred as the result of a botched plastic surgery procedure, as well as providing some recompense the for pain and suffering caused.

Rhinoplasty Surgery Error Claims

Rhinoplasty – commonly referred to as a nose job – is a highly complicated surgical procedure which requires a considerable level of skill by a plastic surgeon to perform it correctly. The potential for complications with cosmetic surgery from rhinoplasty is considerable, especially when the procedure is inexpertly performed.

Due to the complicated nature of this type of plastic surgery, the risks associated with the treatment must be explained in detail to a patient prior to undergoing the procedure, in addition to the patient receiving an accurate assessment of the probability of a successful outcome. When the outcome is not as expected, it is not always possible to claim cosmetic surgery compensation if the risks have been explained in detail.

If a patient was warned about the possibility of failed surgery, and there is no evidence to suggest medical negligence, a cosmetic surgery claim cannot be made. Rhinoplasty surgery error compensation can be claimed when a mistake has been made by a plastic surgeon which causes an injury to a patient or when complications with cosmetic surgery have arisen which should have been prevented.

Cosmetic surgery injury claims for surgical errors, unwanted outcomes and for complications with cosmetic surgery are typically made for the following health problems:

  • Nasal collapse
  • Excessive swelling
  • Loss of taste and the sense of smell
  • Breathing problems
  • Excessive bleeding and scarring
  • Infections

Claims for Nerve Damage During Cosmetic Surgery

A plastic surgeon must conduct a procedure with the utmost care, making exact cuts and tissue adjustments to achieve the desired results. Should an error be made during a procedure and a nerve be cut or injured, it is usually considered medical negligence and cosmetic surgery injury claims for damage to nerves can usually be made.

Nerve damage during cosmetic surgery is one of the potentially most serious complications with cosmetic surgery, as it can have a serious long-term impact on the quality of life of a patient post surgery. Nerve damage during cosmetic surgery can lead to partial paralysis of muscles and long term pain and discomfort being suffered. Cosmetic surgery compensation for nerve impairment is usually made for burning and tingling sensations in the face, which may not be severe but can be all-consuming for a patient.

A patient should not be made to suffer any sensory impairment due to the actions of a surgeon, and while it is not possible to turn back the clock, recovering compensation for a cosmetic surgery error which caused nerve injuries will make sure a patient is not made to suffer financially due to the actions of a negligent surgeon. A cosmetic surgery claim for nerve damage must be thoroughly investigated by a solicitor, and while it may be appropriate to delay the resolution of a claim until the full extent of the injuries is known, you should not delay seeking legal advice.

Injury Claims for a Face Lift Gone Wrong

One issue that is commonly arises with cosmetic surgery injury claims for face lifts is whether the injury has been sustained due to negligence of the surgeon or as a reasonable consequence of the surgical procedure, given the risks associated with this particular treatment. In the case of nerve damage during plastic surgery, negligence is usually quite clear and as such it is usually possible to claim compensation for a cosmetic surgery error for this type of injury.

However, slightly sagging skin and scarring is a more complicated issue, as these problems may not necessarily be due to the level of care taken by a surgeon. A claim for these complications with cosmetic surgery may only be possible if the surgeon failed to warn a patient of the risks involved in the treatment.

Excellent results are frequently expected by a patient, but an ‘unreasonable outcome’ is not grounds for making a cosmetic surgery claim for a face lift gone wrong. Only if the surgeon has been negligent is it possible for a claim for cosmetic surgery compensation for a face lift gone wrong to be made. Since negligence can only be proven by a medical professional, and a case needs to be thoroughly investigated before that can happen, it is important that a medical negligence solicitor is contacted promptly to investigate the case so that the right to recover compensation can be determined.

Compensation for Excessive Scarring During Cosmetic Surgery

Although it is possible to claim cosmetic surgery compensation for excessive scarring during cosmetic surgery, establishing whether the scarring is severe enough to warrant a claim being made requires expert opinion to be obtained from an independent plastic surgeon. Some scarring is to be expected with cosmetic procedures, and it must be established whether the degree to which scars have formed is a reasonable consequence of the procedure that was performed, or resulted from negligence of the surgeon. Only when this is established can eligibility to make a cosmetic surgery claim be confirmed.

Claims for excessive scarring during cosmetic surgery can be problematic, as some patients are more prone to develop scars than others, and this may not be the fault of a plastic surgeon. Some complications with cosmetic surgery caused by negligence of a surgeon can increase the probability of scars forming and a failure to perform a closure with a reasonable level of skill and care is also likely to result in excessive scarring. Provided it can be established and proven ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that the actions of the surgeon constituted negligence which caused a patient to suffer excessive scarring, it should be possible to make cosmetic surgery injury claims.

Injury Claims for Facial Scar Revision Surgery Gone Wrong

A facial scar revision is usually a straightforward cosmetic procedure that has a reasonably high success rate. The results of this procedure are not instantaneous – it can take weeks for redness and swelling to subside – and time must be allowed for healing to take place post-surgery. Cases of facial scar revision surgery gone wrong are relatively uncommon, although complications with cosmetic surgery can develop; many of which can form the basis of cosmetic surgery injury claims.

The most common reasons for an unfavourable outcome occur when the procedure is completed too soon after the formation of the scar or when the depth of the scar tissue is misjudged. Facial scar revision surgery gone wrong often involves negligence of the surgeon due to errors made when performing the revision surgery; either with inexpertly administered laser treatment or the negligent application of chemicals.

If the procedure was not effective, it is unlikely that a cosmetic surgery claim will be possible; however if the scarring has worsened as a result of the treatment or other injuries have been sustained, it is probable that compensation for a cosmetic surgery error can be claimed.

How Much Compensation for a Liposuction Error can be Claimed?

The amount of compensation for a liposuction error that can be recovered primarily depends on the severity of the injury sustained, whether it will be possible to make a full recovery and how long it will take to do so. These aspects of cosmetic surgery compensation are covered by general damages, which serve as recompense for pain and suffering, loss of amenity, non-financial changes in lifestyle and the loss of future opportunities.

The calculation of general damages in cosmetic surgery injury claims can be complex, and medical experts need to be consulted to obtain an assessment of the expected recovery time and to obtain an accurate prognosis for recovery. When a solicitor assesses a cosmetic surgery claim, all aspects of an injury will be considered to ensure the maximum entitlement to compensation is determined.

Since further surgical procedures are often necessary to correct the mistakes made by a negligent plastic surgeon, claims for special damages can be considerable. Special damages cover all financial losses associated with complications with cosmetic surgery – both past and future – which include, but are not limited to, the cost of medical treatment, prescriptions, loss of earnings, transportation costs to and from hospital and all other reasonable expenses incurred.

Further Information on Cosmetic Surgery Injury Claims

It is not possible to establish whether cosmetic surgery injury claims can be made without a detailed understanding of the case. Many factors can influence whether a cosmetic surgery claim can be made, as well as the amount of cosmetic surgery compensation that can be recovered.

To find out if you can make a claim for complications with cosmetic surgery or recover compensation for a cosmetic surgery error, you should discuss your case with a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

Since there is a fixed time period for making personal injury claims for botched plastic surgery, and claims can take some time to prepare, we recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible.