Detroit Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice Attorney
No one chooses to have brain surgery or a heart bypass; those procedures are medically necessary and the result of a physician’s diagnosis of a serious health condition. Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, is usually elective and arises from a patient’s desire to make changes or improvements to their appearance.
As with any surgical procedure, cosmetic surgery comes with risks — infections, scarring, nerve damage, and anesthesia problems, among other potential complications. The doctors, nurses, and staff who perform cosmetic procedures must follow the appropriate standards of care to minimize these risks. And as with any surgery, when surgeons and staff fail to follow those standards and make surgical errors, serious health problems and injuries can result and may form the basis of a medical malpractice claim.
The cosmetic surgery malpractice attorneys at Sommers Schwartz represent individuals who suffered pain, disfigurement, or other adverse health effects from negligently performed cosmetic procedures. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of medical malpractice victims, including those who experience losses after a botched cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic vs. Plastic Surgery
Although people often use the terms interchangeably, cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery are two distinct areas of medicine. Plastic surgery deals with reconstructing the face and body due to birth injuries, genetic conditions, disease, trauma, burns, and similar issues.
Cosmetic surgery involves procedures on the face and body done for purely or primarily aesthetic reasons. They can be surgical or non-surgical and are almost always elective.
The American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery certify surgeons who have satisfied their training and educational requirements. Board certification is an important metric by which to judge a physician’s qualifications.
Unfortunately, it is common for uncertified, unlicensed, improperly trained, or inexperienced providers to offer cosmetic surgery and other procedures. Many problems arise when these providers lead patients to believe they are qualified to perform these services when they lack the training, skills, and experience to do so safely and competently.
Types of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery
Common types of cosmetic surgery that can be the basis of a medical malpractice claim when performed negligently include:
- Breast augmentation and enlargement
- Breast implant removal
- Tummy tucks
- Buttock/arm/thigh lift
- Rhinoplasty (reshaping the nose)
- Botox treatments
- Lip injections and fillers
- Eyelid lift
- Varicose vein treatments
- Vaginal rejuvenation
Disappointing Outcome or Medical Malpractice?
What distinguishes cosmetic surgery from other procedures is that the desired or intended outcome rarely involves curing or resolving a medical issue (though there are exceptions). The result that a patient desires from cosmetic surgery involves appearances. When a cosmetic procedure does not achieve the look a patient expected but does not otherwise result in any injuries or health problems, can the disappointing result be the basis of a malpractice claim?
The reality is that unless the results are clearly outside the range of anticipated outcomes, a malpractice claim may be difficult to prove.
That said, some cosmetic surgery outcomes are so bad that they rise to the level of disfigurement or cause other health problems, including psychological conditions like depression. When combined with a failure to follow the appropriate standard of care, these very real injuries may support a claim for damages.
Cosmetic Surgery Red Flags
Because cosmetic surgery is elective, health insurance rarely covers the costs. Patients may shop around for the best price, making them vulnerable to unqualified providers and facilities. The amount of money that can be made from practicing cosmetic surgery can tempt many medical professionals to offer cosmetic surgeries and procedures they are not qualified to perform.
Some red flags to look for when considering a physician to perform cosmetic surgery or another procedure include:
- Surgeons performing cosmetic surgery who are not trained in plastic or cosmetic surgery.
- Non-board-certified physicians.
- Procedures that occur in private offices instead of surgical centers or hospital operating rooms.
Common Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Injuries
Some of the more common plastic and cosmetic surgery injuries are:
- Nerve or tissue damage
- Severe scarring
- Implant leaks post breast surgery
- Breathing problems post nose surgery
- Blood clots
- Internal bleeding
- Punctured or perforated organs or bowels
- Skin damage
- Eyelid damage
Potential Damages in a Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice Claim
If you or a loved one have been hurt or killed by the negligence of a provider during cosmetic surgery, you could be entitled to compensation for the damages you and your family have incurred, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost benefits
- Lost future earning capacity
- Estimated future medical care costs
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful death
- Loss of consortium
Michigan Medical Malpractice Laws
Michigan offers victims of medical malpractice the ability to recover significant compensation for their injuries and damages. How much an injured patient receives depends on the extent of their injuries and losses and the nature and severity of the surgeon’s negligence.
In Michigan, there is no limit on economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, that a plaintiff can recover in a medical malpractice case. However, Michigan does cap noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium, at $476,600 in 2021 (this cap will go up each year according to the Consumer Price Index) except in these situations, where the noneconomic damages cap is $851,000:
- Medical negligence causes a total permanent functional loss of one or more limbs caused by injury to the brain or spinal cord.
- The medical negligence impaired a patient’s cognitive capacity, rendering them incapable of making independent, responsible life decisions and permanently incapable of independently performing routine, daily living activities.
- The medical negligence resulted in permanent loss of or damage to a reproductive organ resulting in the patient’s inability to procreate.
Contact a Michigan Medical Malpractice Attorney for Immediate Assistance
If you or a loved one has suffered because of a medical mistake during cosmetic surgery, the experienced and committed medical malpractice attorneys at Sommers Schwartz stand ready to help.
Sommers Schwartz has earned a reputation for compassionate yet aggressive representation of those who suffer because their physicians failed to meet the appropriate standard of care. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you, learn more about your experience, and explore how we can help you get the compensation and justice to help you recover and move forward.
To learn more and speak with an attorney about your situation today, call 800-783-0989 for immediate assistance.