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Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim for Cosmetic Surgery?


While plastic surgery is a reconstructive procedure in order to repair damage or defects of the body, cosmetic surgery is a branch of plastic surgery that is designed to improve a person’s appearance. Common types of cosmetic surgery include facelift, breast augmentation, liposuction, abdominoplasty (i.e., tummy tuck), and rhinoplasty (i.e., nose job). 

But like all types of surgeries, there is plenty of room for error. If a plastic surgeon or any other healthcare provider makes a mistake that is considered medical negligence, and a patient suffers an injury, the error could qualify as the basis of a medical malpractice claim. 

The following are the three elements of a medical malpractice lawsuit for cosmetic surgery: 

  1. An established relationship exists between surgeon and patient. 

  1. The surgeon failed to provide the medical standard of care—generally what a surgeon with the same background and experience should have done—during the procedure. 

  1. The patient suffered harm resulting from the breach of care. 

In order to establish the second element, plaintiffs must obtain expert witness testimony, provided by an expert who has cosmetic surgery experience and is familiar with the same procedure that resulted in the claim. The expert must show how the defendant breached the medical standard of core, specifically detailing how the surgeon committed the error. 

However, establishing the third element can be complex. All surgical procedures—including cosmetic surgery—are associated with a level of risk involved. The surgeon is required to inform the patient of any known risks before surgery. Therefore, if a surgeon properly informs a patient who then agrees to the procedure, and one of the known complications arises and the patient is harmed, the patient will not be able to sue the surgeon for medical malpractice. 

Common injuries caused by cosmetic surgery errors include: 

  • Nerve damage 

  • Aesthetic damage 

  • Scarring 

  • Infections 

  • Complications from anesthesia 

Remember, being unsatisfied with the results of cosmetic surgery is not the proper basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit. In order to determine if you have a valid claim, you must consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. 

If you have been injured due to medical malpractice in Anchorage, AK, call The Law Offices of David Henderson at (888) 295-6566 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients!