There is a continuing increase in plastic surgery procedures in the U.S. While places like Los Angeles and Miami are known for having lots of people with plastic surgery, cities like Philadelphia are also joining the trend. With the increased demand in cosmetic surgery, surgical enhancement, and plastic surgery procedures, there may also be an increase in the number of surgical errors and mistakes.
Plastic surgery malpractice can result in serious injury, permanent disfigurement, or even death. Even when patients suffer painful disfigurement or scarring because of plastic surgery malpractice, they may not want to come forward because they are ashamed by their appearance or blame themselves for the damage.
If you have been injured in a plastic surgery accident in Philadelphia, it is important to come forward to hold the doctors, surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists accountable for their actions to help make sure others do not have to suffer in the future.
Plastic Surgery Procedures in Philadelphia
More and more men and women in Philadelphia are seeking out cosmetic surgeons for procedures from Botox injections to complete facial reconstructions. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) annual report for 2018, there was a 2% increase in cosmetic procedures from the year before, totaling more than 17 million cosmetic procedures in the U.S.
The top five minimally cosmetic surgical procedures in 2018 were:
- Breast Augmentation
- Nose Reshaping
- Eyelid Surgery
- Tummy Tuck
The top five minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures in 2018 were:
- Botox Injections
- Soft Tissue Fillers
- Chemical Peels
- Laser Hair Removal
The top five reconstructive plastic surgery procedures in 2017 were:
- Tumor Removal
- Laceration Repair
- Maxillofacial Surgery
- Scar Revision
- Hand Surgery
Procedures Involving Plastic Surgery Malpractice
While any type of surgical procedure or treatment can involve malpractice, some of the more common types of plastic surgery medical malpractice suffered by patients in Philadelphia include:
- Breast Augmentation Malpractice
- Breast Implant Removal Malpractice
- Breast Reduction Malpractice
- Buttock Augmentation Malpractice
- Liposuction Malpractice
- Rhinoplasty Malpractice
- Tummy Tuck Malpractice
- Eyelid Malpractice
- Hair Transplant Malpractice
- Fat Grafting Malpractice
- Breast Lift Malpractice
- Buttock Implants Malpractice
- Buttock Lift Malpractice
- Calf Augmentation Malpractice
- Cheek Implant Malpractice
- Chin Implant Malpractice
- Forehead Lift Malpractice
- Facelift Malpractice
- Labiaplasty Malpractice
- Lip Augmentation Malpractice
- Neck Lift Malpractice
- Pectoral Implants Malpractice
- Upper Arm Lift Malpractice
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Malpractice
- Leg Vein Treatment Malpractice
Plastic Surgeon Training and Qualifications
Plastic surgery doctors have the same minimum education, training, and qualifications as other doctors. Plastic surgeons may also undergo additional training and educational requirements, including surgical training, plastic surgery training, board certification, specific procedure training, and continuing education requirements.
Specialized training and certification are required for doctors to be “board-certified” in plastic surgery and/or cosmetic surgery. While plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery can overlap, they generally have different areas of focus. Cosmetic surgery is focused on enhancing the patient's physical appearance. Plastic surgery focuses on repairing defects and reconstructing normal function and appearance.
Plastic Surgery Training
The American Board of Plastic Surgery requires 150 cosmetic surgery procedure to sit for certification and has required training in:
- Hand Surgery
- Reconstructive Surgery
- Trauma Surgery
- Congenital Defect Repair
- Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic Surgery Training
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery requires 300 cosmetic surgery procedure to sit for certification and has required training in:
- Tummy Tuck
- Breast Surgery
- Face Surgery
- Other Cosmetic Surgeries
However, doctors who perform cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery without these board certifications may not have undergone any specialized training or certification.
Procedures by Non-Doctors
In the U.S., not all cosmetic procedures are required to be performed by a doctor or surgeon. Cosmetic procedures like permanent make-up or Botox injections are commonly offered in a non-surgical atmosphere. Botox injections may only require a weekend training course and can be administered by physician's assistants or registered nurses.
Common Plastic Surgery Errors and Complications
Any plastic surgery procedures can involve potential malpractice that results in serious injury, permanent scarring, or death. Many patients seek out experienced plastic surgeons after personal recommendations to reduce the risk of a mishap. However, even the top cosmetic surgeons in Philadelphia can make mistakes. The support staff, anesthesiologists, or facility can also make mistakes that result in injury to the patient. Common plastic surgery errors and complications can be caused by:
- Lack of informed consent,
- Failure to get the patient's full medical history,
- Allergic reactions,
- Non-sterilized equipment,
- Improper sterilization and cleaning procedures,
- Administering too much anesthesia,
- Administering too little anesthesia,
- Not properly monitoring vitals during surgery,
- Communication errors,
- Equipment failure,
- Surgical materials left in the patient's body,
- Surgical errors,
- Performing the wrong procedure,
- Performing the procedure on the wrong side of the body,
- Performing the procedure on the wrong patient, and
- Intubation injuries.
Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice Injuries
Injuries after mistakes and negligent treatment can range from minor injuries or scars to permanent injury or even death. The severity of the injuries may also depend on when the problem was discovered and how soon proper medical treatment was sought. Injuries, disfigurement, and damages related to cosmetic surgery malpractice may include:
- Insufficient oxygen supply or asphyxia
- Severe low blood pressure or hypotension
- Throat damage
- Brain damage
- Internal bleeding
- Organ punctures
- Pulmonary embolism
- Organ failure
- Kidney damage
- High blood pressure or hypertension
- Tissue damage
- Nerve damage
- Permanent loss of the use of a limb
- Hearing loss
- Loss of sight
- Loss of the sense of smell
- Facial deformity
- Permanent scarring
Infections After Surgery
Infections can cause serious damage after a surgery, even for mildly invasive procedures. The risk of infection can increase based on the patient's health, medications, age, environment, and aftercare. An infection may not be evident to the patient until days or even weeks later. When an infection spreads, it can lead to permanent tissue damage, nerve damage, organ damage, and require surgery to remove the necrotic tissue and stop the infection from spreading.
How do I know if my Philadelphia plastic surgeon committed malpractice?
Plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons Pennsylvania are generally required to follow the standard of care as another doctor would act in the same or similar circumstances. When a surgeon goes outside the standard of care which causes injury or harm to the patient, the doctor may be liable for the damages.
Examples of something a surgeon might do that would violate the standard of care may include failure to follow the proper washing and cleaning procedures before surgery; failure to monitor the patient's vital signs during surgery, or prescribing the incorrect medication after surgery.
Unfortunately, many patients are unaware of whether their doctor or plastic surgeon made a mistake because the patient may have been unconscious. After surgery, the patient may also need to wait days or weeks to fully recover. It may only be after that time that the patient discovers something went wrong.
The doctor may try and explain away any complications, scarring, or disfigurement by claiming it is just a risk of surgery. Unfortunately, many patients leave it at that or blame themselves for their disfigured appearance. It is important to seek out an experienced Philadelphia plastic surgery lawyer to find out if mistakes were made, who is responsible, and hold the surgeon accountable for the harm done.
Filing a Claim for Plastic Surgery Malpractice in Philadelphia
There is a limited time to file a plastic surgery medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania. Generally, you have two years from the date you discover the injury to file a claim, or two years from the date a reasonable person would have discovered the injury.
Botched plastic surgery victims may have up to seven years from the date of the medical negligence to file a claim for injuries suffered after 2002. Talk to your Philadelphia cosmetic surgery malpractice lawyer as soon as you can to make sure your claim is filed in time.
Damages After a Plastic Surgery Error in Philadelphia
After a plastic surgery accident, the patient may not be able to work, require additional medical treatment, or suffer permanent disfigurement. Financial damages can provide compensation after a medical malpractice lawsuit in Philadelphia, including:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earning capacity,
- Corrective surgery,
- Continuing medical treatment,
- Medications and medical supplies,
- In-home care,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of support,
- Loss of enjoyment, and
- Loss of a limb or body part.
Repairing Plastic Surgery Damage
After a traumatic plastic surgery accident, the injury victim may be reluctant to undergo another surgery to repair the damage done by the negligent surgeon. Before the negligent surgeon offers additional treatment to fix their mistakes, consider talking to your attorney. If you were the victim of plastic surgery malpractice you do not have to put yourself at further risk by letting the negligent doctor have another chance to cause more harm. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may be able to get damages to cover repair or corrective surgery by another doctor.
Plastic Surgery Malpractice Lawyers in Philadelphia
Do not blame yourself or suffer in silence after a botched plastic surgery procedure. You deserve compensation for your injuries and the doctor should be held accountable for their mistakes before others have to suffer similar injuries.
At Gilman & Bedigian, we will use our experience, knowledge, and dedication to fight for you to receive the compensation you and your family deserve. Our aggressive trial lawyers have helped our clients recover millions of dollars in compensation related to plastic surgery errors, medical malpractice, and defective drug injuries. Contact us online or call our law office at (800) 529-6162 for a free consultation.