Thousands of people seek out plastic surgery operations to augment their figures, change the shape of their nose, or remove unwanted fat. However, some people cannot afford to get the expensive procedures done. This leads them to seek out cheaper alternatives, including unlicensed practitioners and going overseas for the procedure. In some cases, a discounted operation can cost the patient much more in the end.
A 34-year-old woman from Maryland died after getting butt enlargement injections from an unlicensed doctor in a basement in New York. The unnamed doctor injected silicone into the woman's buttocks, but the patient began to complain of shortness of breath. Her mother, who accompanied her daughter, began to perform CPR and asked the doctor to call 911. Instead, the unlicensed doctor ran to an SUV and drove away. The young woman was taken to the hospital where she passed away.
In the UK, patients are saving money by utilizing the services of fly in, fly out European specialists. While the British government requires their own plastic surgeons to have 10 million pounds in indemnity coverage, European doctors to perform operations in the UK may be able to operate without any insurance. The doctors fly in for a short period to perform a number of procedures at a lower rate than local providers. Then they return to their home countries.
However, if the surgeon made a mistake, botched the operation, or endangered the patient, the injured patient may have little recourse unless they file a claim in the home country of the surgeon. “We've had a lot of patients who've had botched surgery but they can't do anything about it,” said Michael Cadier, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
Patients in the U.S. who travel to Mexico or other countries for discounted plastic surgery may have similar problems. If they are unhappy with their surgery, they will have to deal with local authorities to file a claim or seek damages. Most of these patients end up having corrective surgery done back in the U.S., at a cost many times higher than their original plastic surgery bill.
Other risks come from unlicensed providers operating within the U.S. A number of patients in Florida almost died from Botox injections that were in concentrations 40 times higher than a lethal dose.
“Greedy patients agree to let unlicensed persons or completely untrained persons inject them because they have been promised they will save a few dollars,” said Dr. Richard Glogau, a professor of dermatology at the University of California at San Francisco. “Greedy physicians attempt to bypass the expense of using something approved and reliable in an attempt to widen their profit margin.”
If you or a loved one has been injured during a plastic surgery operation or other medical procedure, Gilman & Bedigian team is ready to help. We are fully equipped to handle the complex process of filing a medical malpractice claim. Our staff, including a physician and attorneys with decades of medical malpractice litigation experience, will focus on getting you compensated, so you can focus on healing and moving forward.