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Seattle Plastic Surgery Malpractice Lawyers

Plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are two very similar fields of medicine. They are so similar that many people use the two terms interchangeably. But they are indeed different. Both plastic and cosmetic surgery deal with changing the physical appearance of a patient’s body. But cosmetic surgery is done purely for cosmetic reasons, in order to enhance a person’s appearance. Plastic surgery is performed in order to correct defects and injuries, and to restore a person to his or her normal physical appearance and functions.

Though the intentions are good, the results are what truly matter. When a plastic surgeon does not provide the standard of care required for a patient and injuries result, he or she can be held legally responsible to pay for the damages.

Types of Plastic Surgery

Unlike cosmetic surgery, which is purely elective, plastic surgery works to restore and reconstruct a patient’s physical defects. A few common types of plastic surgery include:

  • Breast reconstruction, particularly after a mastectomy or double mastectomy before or during breast cancer treatments
  • Surgery to repair burn injuries
  • Surgery to repair birth defects, such as a cleft palate
  • Reconstruction of lower extremities, when fitting for prosthetics
  • Hand surgery, such as operations to correct carpal tunnel or trigger finger
  • Scar revision surgery

Examples of Medical Malpractice in Plastic Surgery

Malpractice does not have to be intentional. In most cases, medical malpractice claims include unintentional neglect or carelessness on the part of the surgeon or other healthcare professionals involved in the procedure. Some of the most common examples of medical malpractice in the plastic surgery field are:

  • Failing to evaluate the patient’s history thoroughly, which can result in an allergic reaction to medication or other error.
  • Unqualified personnel assisting in the surgery, which could result in serious injury to the patient.
  • Improper administration of anesthesia, whether it is administered by the surgeon or by an anesthesiologist.
  • Improper procedure performed, such as when the left hand needed to be corrected but work was done on the right hand.
  • Failing to obtain a patient’s consent, even if the doctor found through the initial surgery that another surgery was required.
  • Improper use of equipment or using the wrong equipment for a specific procedure.
  • Responding in an incorrect way to complications.

These are just a few errors that can be made during plastic surgery, but anytime something goes wrong due to a healthcare professional’s negligence, there may be a case of medical malpractice.

When Plastic Surgery Is Not Medical Malpractice

There is no guarantee that a plastic surgery patient will be happy with the results. For instance, a patient going in for carpal tunnel surgery may not be happy with the scar left on her hand. Or, a plastic surgeon may have been mindful and competent during a surgery, but because of preexisting conditions the patient had, the surgery was not able to be performed successfully.

These are not cases of medical malpractice just because the patient was unhappy with the results. A doctor cannot guarantee a good outcome for a patient; and the principle holds true for plastic surgeons. In order to successfully prove a plastic surgery medical malpractice case, the doctor or surgeon must have shown negligence, carelessness, or an unreasonable error that caused the patient further injury or illness.

If you believe you have been the victim of plastic surgery medical malpractice, contact a Seattle surgerical malpractice lawyer at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., toll-free at (888) 228-3860. We will review your case for free. If we believe you have a medical malpractice claim, we will work hard to ensure you get any compensation you need to recover.


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