Untrained Doctors Performing Plastic Surgery Put Patients at Risk
Medical malpractice can occur in any medical setting, including those that offer elective procedures. Plastic, or cosmetic, surgery is performed for wide range of reasons, which are not always supported by the general public, but there is no denying it is a popular and growing segment of the medical profession with 17.1 million procedures in 2016, a three percent increase over the previous year. Given its popularity and the lucrative nature of these procedures, doctors untrained in this specialty are attempting to practice in this area in order to make quick money, but putting patients’ lives and health at risk in the process. All doctors receive basic training in all areas of medicine, but surgery, due to the skill and risk involved, is a specialized area that only doctors with specific training, including plastic surgery, should perform. Board certifications indicate which physicians have this training, and serves as one type of credential patients should always check when scheduling surgery. Not working with a properly trained doctor can lead to tragic results, as illustrated by the recent death of a woman at a Miami-Dade County cosmetic surgery center undergoing liposuction and fat transfer surgery. A discussion of complications frequently associated with medical malpractice in plastic surgery, as well as what an injured patient could recover, will follow below.
Plastic surgeries bring the same risks as other surgical procedures, and can be just as invasive, despite claims by some doctors that these procedures are benign with minimal recovery time. If the doctor or any of the support staff fails to execute a reasonable amount of care during the procedure, the outcome can be dire. Complications often seen in plastic surgery malpractice cases include:
- excessive bleeding or fluid build-up;
- infection at the incision site;
- blood clots;
- nerve damage;
- skin discoloration;
- loss of feeling;
- scarring/disfigurement; or
- an adverse reaction to anesthesia.
Establishing that medical malpractice occurred is rarely straightforward due to the complexity of surgeries generally, and the number of people directly and indirectly involved in each procedure. However, there are several indicators that strongly suggest medical malpractice may have played a role in patient injury, including:
- a doctor unqualified in plastic surgery;
- cutting corners by replacing anesthesiologists with nurse anesthetists;
- an improperly equipped facility;
- not studying a patient’s history for issues that could complicate outcomes;
- doing more than the patient authorized; and
- performing surgery on the wrong body part.
Recovering for Injuries
Suffering a serious injury while under the care of a doctor is devastating because of the trust this relationship requires. However, to win a malpractice case, several factors must be established to prove a doctor failed to provide proper treatment and should be held accountable. These factors include:
- the doctor had a duty of care to the patient;
- this duty was breached by the doctor’s negligent acts;
- the patient was injured; and
- the injury was the result of the doctor’s breached duty.
Recovering compensation for an injury will never really restore what was taken away, but it will alleviate some of the financial fallout of these events, and allow a victim to get the medical care they need to recover to the fullest possible extent. Specifically, a malpractice plaintiff can demand lost wages, the cost of the procedure, future medical expenses, and, in some cases, pain and suffering.
Medical malpractice cases are complicated matters that require a lot of time and effort to fully develop, so contacting the experienced attorneys at Miami’s Pita Weber & Del Prado as soon as malpractice is suspected is essential to building a strong case. Pursuing a doctor or hospital for compensation can feel overwhelming, but the attorneys at Pita Weber & Del Prado will help you understand the legal process, and work to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation.