The Risk of Medical Malpractice During Plastic Surgery
As the year draws to a close, millions of people all over the world are thinking of ways to make their lives better in the new year. By far, the most popular types of new year’s resolution involve some form of self-improvement, whether it’s losing weight, eating a healthier diet, or quitting smoking. This might also include finally undergoing a plastic surgery procedure a person has always wanted to have done.
The idea of being able to start the new year with a new look can be very appealing, but before you go under the knife, it’s extremely important to carefully weigh the risks involved with the procedure and to take the time to find the right surgeon to work with. Many people feel like since plastic surgery is an elective, cosmetic surgery, it’s somehow less serious or less dangerous than other types of surgery. But it’s extremely important to remember that plastic surgery is still surgery and there will always be a risk of medical malpractice involved with any type of surgery. Even if you’re considering a procedure like Botox injections, which can easily be done in a doctor’s office and doesn’t involve anesthesia, the doctor administering the injections still has to meet certain standards of medical care.
The exact risks of plastic surgery depend on the procedure you’re interested in having. For example, breast implants can rupture over time and require further surgery, while improperly performed facelifts can damage facial nerves. But those are just the complications inherently linked to the procedure itself. There are many other types of malpractice that can happen during plastic surgery, such as wrong-site surgery, anesthesia errors, general procedural mistakes, nerve damage, or doctors doing procedures the patient was not informed of and did not consent to. It can also be considered malpractice if a patient agrees to have an implant made out of a specific material, but the surgeon uses another type of implant instead.
Of course, general medical negligence is also still a danger. Even when a surgery is elective, doctors and other medical professionals involved in the process have to meet strict ethical and professional standards of care before, during, and after the procedure. They have a duty to make sure patients are physically healthy enough to have surgery, to carry out the procedure competently, take steps to prevent complications, and to react appropriately if complications do arise.
One very famous case of potential malpractice related to plastic surgery involved Donda West, mother of Kanye West. Donda West died in 2007 the day after she had undergone multiple plastic surgery procedures. Following the surgeries, Donda was being cared for by her nephew, who was a certified nurse. The surgeon who operated on Donda blames the nephew for her death, saying he was negligent in caring for her. However, other surgeons who had met with Donda before her death told the media they didn’t believe the surgeries should have been performed on her in the first place because of a heart condition which could have led to complications.
If you’re considering plastic surgery, taking the time to find the right doctor is essential Look for surgeons who are highly experienced in performing the procedure you’re interested in and make sure they’re licensed and a board-certified cosmetic surgeon. Being a board-certified surgeon doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of malpractice, but it means they’re experienced and in many cases, plastic surgery malpractice is caused by doctor inexperience.
Also, be sure to ask about what kind of facility the operation will be done in. While some types of procedures can easily be done in an office setting, like Botox or injectable fillers, more complicated surgical procedures should always be done in a hospital where doctors will have access to more resources to deal with complications. Lastly, note how the doctor takes your medical history. A plastic surgeon should always get a patient’s full medical history before agreeing to operate so they can make sure the patient doesn’t have any health problems that could lead to complications.