Any person with a medical degree and license can call themselves a “plastic surgeon”, regardless of their medical training and background. Because cosmetic surgery is usually elective and most often paid for out of pocket by the patient rather than covered by an insurance company, plastic surgery is a lucrative business. Plastic surgeons compete for potential patients, and many doctors unabashedly market themselves by using advertising, websites, and discount coupons. Plastic surgery is treated by these doctors as a commodity.
In 2013, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that the top cosmetic surgeries were breast augmentation, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, liposuction, and facelift. At least half of these procedures were performed in a doctor’s office. This means less oversight and restrictions. Corners may be cut when it comes to adequate staffing, cleanliness and sterility. And, as a result, patients may be disfigured or disabled, suffer damaging infections, or be left with lifelong pain from nerve injury.
A cosmetic result that is displeasing to the patient does not necessarily imply malpractice. Many lawyers are reluctant to consider a plastic surgery case, fearing that a jury will not be sympathetic to a patient who chose to improve their appearance. However, when the physician departs from the standard care and causes harm, we will closely review that potential matter.
The Dennehy Law Firm has represented many women in plastic surgery cases. We believe that the party who should be held responsible is the doctor who sold and monetized negligent treatment rather than a patient who suffered nerve injury from facial surgery or who now endures mutilating scars and asymmetry from breast reduction. We are passionately dedicated to women who are harmed by the negligence of doctors who perform plastic surgery. (See our article “Mirror, mirror, on the wall” on the Press Page.)