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Medical Malpractice and Cosmetic Procedures

Typically, cosmetic surgeries such as face-lifts, tummy tucks, breast augmentation, liposuction, and rhinoplasty, among other, are elective procedures aimed at enhancing one's appearance. In the eyes of the law, an error committed during cosmetic surgery is on a level equal to those that occur with other types of surgeries- in some cases rising to the level of medical negligence when a patient is harmed.

To pursue a medical malpractice claim in a cosmetic surgery case, the following elements must come into play:

  • The existence of a doctor-patient relationship. In some case of cosmetic surgery, the doctor-patient relationship is generally not in dispute. To have surgery performed, there is an implied relationship.
  • A breach of the "medical standard of care," which is defined as the kind of care that similarly skilled cosmetic surgeon would have provided under comparable circumstances. Establishing the medical standard of care- and how it wasn't followed- will require expert medical testimony.
  • Injury to the patient. This is not always as clear-cut as it sounds. A surgeon has the duty to explain the risks possible complications of any medical procedure. If the patient was properly informed and one of these complications arose, causing the patient harm, it does not necessarily mean medical malpractice occurred. In addition, being unhappy with the surgery results does not equate to "injury." Common Injuries include infection, nerve damage, anesthesia complications, and aesthetic damage. 
Remember, medical malpractice cases are complicated and have statues of limitations that vary from state to state. Contact the Law Office of William J. Luse at 843-839-4795, if you have suffered medical malpractice and need to protect your rights


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