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What to do if cosmetic surgery goes wrong?

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If you have had a cosmetic procedure and the outcome is not as you expected, you are entitled to make a negligence claim, but solicitors are warning clients to do their homework and carry out some due diligence before undertaking any cosmetic treatments.

Non-surgical BBL claim

Recent news stories have highlighted the extreme case of a young woman who developed complications after a non-surgical Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) surgery. The patient developed sepsis, needed emergency surgery and still has an open wound in the area.

“This is an area of medical treatment that often comes with risks as the procedures undertaken are not always at clinics or hospitals, and as we see from this case, infection can be a major concern,” said Solicitor and Head of Medical Negligence, Jacqueline White.

“All cosmetic procedures come with risks, but too often people are lured into cosmetic surgery with amazing before and after pictures, the suggestion that procedures are mere tweaks and enhancements and not what they actually often are - medical procedures with the associated dangers.”

“It is also a branch of the industry that lacks regulation, and so when the treatment goes wrong, it can be serious, with wound infections and scarring common side effects,” said Jacqueline.

She also warns potential cosmetic surgery clients to consider a checklist when choosing their surgeon or practitioner:

Cosmetic Surgery Checklist

  • Check the person is qualified and registered with a suitable specialist association and trained in the right procedures. Only registered doctors can perform cosmetic surgery in England. You can check if someone is a registered doctor or surgeon on the General Medical Council online register
  • Check the clinic is registered. All independent hospitals and clinics that provide cosmetic surgery in England must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
  • Some surgeons have a cosmetic surgery certificate from the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS). This means they've been assessed and meet an agreed national standard.
  • For non-surgical procedures, you can check if other professionals offering cosmetic procedures are on a voluntary register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
  • Botox is a common procedure, and Botulinum toxin injections, such as Botox or Dysport, are prescription-only medicines, but prescriber and practitioner can be different people, so it’s advisable to check the person giving you the injections is trained and safe to do so and what the insurance arrangements are.
  • Dermal fillers are used for a range of purposes, including lip fillers, but when mistakes are made, it can include serious infection and permanent nerve damage. It’s a good idea to check the name of the product, where it came from and what qualifications, training and experience the person doing your procedure has completed.
  • Finally, always have a consultation to check all of the above, as well as information on aftercare, some potential complications of the procedure and what to do if something goes wrong or you're not happy with the result

Cosmetic Surgery Negligence

If treatment has not been to a patient’s satisfaction, I would urge them to get in touch initially with their surgeon as corrective procedures can be discussed, but if still not satisfied, then a medical negligence case for mismanaged cosmetic surgery can be undertaken.

At all times, the medical negligence team at Pearson will chat through your case with you.

Any compensation for cosmetic negligence issues will take into account the severity of the injury, as well assessing the emotional and psychological impacts.  Loss of earnings and further ongoing treatment needed is also taken into account in your claim.

You'll typically have three years to make a claim, either from the date of your surgery or from when you discovered surgical negligence caused your injury.

“It is extremely important that before going ahead with any form of cosmetic procedure, you check the experience and qualifications of your treating clinician and carefully read through the risks associated with surgery as stated on the Consent Form," advised Jacqueline.

“Never feel pressured into going ahead with any procedure. There will be many cosmetic surgery clinics that provide an excellent standard of care so it is important to shop around to find the best one for you, don’t just opt for the cheapest.  If you have any doubts or concerns at all run them past your General Practitioner.

How can we help?

To discuss a negligent cosmetic procedure, contact our medical negligence solicitors on 161 785 3500 or and we can see if you have a case for cosmetic compensation

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

Written by Jacqueline White


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