You have gone from elementary school through your life in the professional world looking at the handy work of a schoolyard bully; that crooked nose you got in a fight with that bully schoolyard so many years ago. No more. Today is the day your plastic surgeon gets to work on straightening out that nasal eye sore on your face. After a few short hours of surgery, you finally wake up and frantically start to unravel the gauze and bandages covering your face. You reach for the mirror to see an aquiline nose and what you see is something that looks so swollen and big that it looks like you got stung by the world’s largest bee. Worse yet, you can only breathe out of one nostril now. Sadly, stories like this are not too uncommon; a woman from Palm Beach, Florida was awarded damages for a plastic surgery procedure that went horribly wrong. While it is true that there are some risks that patients assume when electing to undergo plastic surgery, the surgeon is not off the hook for liability when things go awry.
The risks you assume when electing to pursue plastic surgery range from general problems to procedure-specific risks. Some of the general risks that can occur are allergic reactions to the anesthesia being used and a condition referred to as necrosis. Necrosis occurs when there is an insufficient supply of oxygen to an area of the body, causing the death of that tissue. Infection, scarring, nerve damage and even death has been known to happen as some of the general risks associated with plastic surgery. Those undergoing liposuction have been known to suffer from fluid loss, swelling, bruises, scars and even a numbing of the skin. Injuries to the nerves that control facial muscles have been common risks associated with face-lifts.
While you, the patient, assume some risks with plastic surgery, the risk sharing is not a one-sided affair. Plastic surgeons are medical professionals and are typically held to a higher standard of care than the average person. Typically, if there has been some kind of procedural error or there was some kind of inexperience or lack of skill on the part of the surgeon, there could possibly be a case for malpractice. Such procedural errors can be a mistake that leads to an infection after the surgery, an incorrect dosage or usage of drugs, or problems that arise from the use of anesthesia. If a plastic surgeon goes through with a procedure without obtaining the informed consent of the patient, they do so at their own risk. Physicians and surgeons, including plastic surgeons, are obliged to go over the risks and benefits of any kind of treatment or surgical procedure so that you may give informed consent, when asked to perform the treatment or surgery.
While the risks of plastic surgery are not a one way street, it never hurts to go over a cost-benefit analysis to see if the reward is worth the trouble you may encounter with cosmetic surgery. If you feel that there has been a serious problem that has occurred as a result of a botched plastic surgery procedure, feel free to reach out to the Law Offices of Michael Cordova to see if we can be of help to you.