OBM

Medical Negligence

Cosmetic Surgery and Procedures Claims

Cosmetic surgery has become increasingly popular in Ireland in recent years, especially with the rise of the “Zoom call” era. The cosmetic surgery market has been estimated to be valued to an average of up to 50million in the past 10 years. In 2022 this type of surgery is no longer taboo, and rightfully so.

Each individual will have their reasons for electing to have cosmetic surgery to change their appearance and it can have a substantial impact on the self esteem of the patient. However, when things don’t go to plan the outcome can cause significant physical and psychological harm to the individual. Many patients struggle to move on from injuries or disfigurement caused by bad cosmetic surgery and can lead to a lifetime of suffering as a result. It’s important to remember that this is not something that should happen when you place your trust in a medical professional, and this kind of adverse outcome is never your fault.

A primary concern in Ireland at present leading to cosmetic surgery claims is the lack of regulation within the industry and the poor awareness around the terms “cosmetic surgeon” and “plastic surgeon”. You may be shocked to learn that any GP in the country can refer to themselves as a “cosmetic surgeon” without having sufficient (or any) surgical training in plastic surgery at all. Unfortunately patients often don’t realise that a fully trained plastic surgeon must undergo advanced training to be listed on the register of specialist for plastic and reconstructive surgery in Ireland in order to operate. A cosmetic surgeon has no such obligation. As a result, there are many inadequately trained general practitioners performing surgical procedures for which they do not have the expertise or skill to perform successfully. 

This is leading to more and more post-op complications in patients and a rise in claims for botched cosmetic surgery. Our team at OBM Solicitors has dealt with 1000s of these cosmetic surgery malpractice claims over the years. Making the decision to make a claim after a botched cosmetic surgery is an extremely personal one, and we place great importance on treating every client who comes to us with the empathy and respect they deserve during this time. If you believe you have suffered as a result of cosmetic surgery negligence, contact our specialist solicitors to guide you through the process of filing for compensation.

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What counts as cosmetic procedures?

Cosmetic procedures include both surgical and non-surgical options to reshape and enhance areas of the body to improve your confidence and aesthetic appearance.

There are numerous types of cosmetic surgery options available. In Ireland, the the most common procedures we see regularly include:

  • Fillers/Botox
    Facelift
    Laser tattoo removal
    Skin resurfacing
    Skin Grafts
    Tummy tucks (for example, the “mommy makeover”)
    Liposuction
    Scar reduction
    Breast augmentation claims
    Breast reductions
    Breast implants/enhancement
    Implants in buttocks, cheeks, and chin
    Rhinoplasty

Some of these procedures are more straightforward then others but unfortunately these can still result in significant problems when they are performed negligently. The consequences of a botched cosmetic surgery can be devastating to the patient who has initially undergone the procedure to improve an aspect of their appearance they were already unhappy with. By pursuing a claim for a cosmetic procedure, you can obtain the finance you need to fund corrective treatments and seek emotional support such as counseling to help you get through this traumatic experience.

When is failed plastic surgery considered malpractice?

To prove negligence in the case of botched plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery, you must prove three things:

  • The surgeon or doctor had a duty to provide reasonable care.
  • This duty was breached.
  • This breach resulted in an injury.

It can occur that a patient is simply unhappy with the outcome of the procedure and may not have grounds to pursue a claim, but this is where our experts in dealing with cosmetic surgery claims can provide a swift assessment. Although compensation can sometimes be recovered when a cosmetic procedure has not had the result you wanted, it is uncommon unless the above actions can be demonstrated and an injury can be proven.

Some common issues that lead to negligence include:

  • Pre-op errors: he cosmetic surgeon or plastic surgeon must take a full medical history and advise patients of all and any risks or complications that can occur. It is also important to note the requirement of a cooling off period between your initial consultation with the surgeon and the procedure itself. The Irish Association of Plastic Surgeons recommends that a 7-14 day cooling off period before the surgery is advisable.
    Surgical errors: Such errors can include a surgeon/doctor working on the wrong body part/area, incorrect medication administration, leaving instruments in the body, and aesthetic complications.
    Lack of skill: Sometimes the surgeon is not fully skilled in the surgery, and this is often the case in the cosmetic surgeon vs. plastic surgeon point referred to earlier.
    Failure to obtain consent: : The surgeon must obtain informed consent from the patient prior to the procedure. If the patient is not fully informed, there are solid grounds for claiming medical negligence.

Can I sue a cosmetic plastic surgeon for negligence?

A claim against a cosmetic plastic surgeon is no different to a claim against any other medical professional. Whether the surgery is elective or not, the surgeon has a duty of care they must fulfill when they take you on as a patient. You may be entitled to a compensation claim if you have experienced physical injuries and/or psychological trauma as a result of bad cosmetic surgery due to negligence. 
Many surgeons will offer revisions in the case of a bad surgical outcome, however patients often do not want to risk further complications associated with a second surgery and no longer trust the surgeon after the initial failed procedure. 

Common complications we deal with in cosmetic surgery claims include:

All surgeries have risks involved and the end result may not always be what you had hoped for. However if you are unsure, contact one of our skilled medical negligence solicitors to discuss your concerns. We will carefully assess your claim to determine what led to this outcome, whether the surgeon was at fault, and how we can help you move forward.