In 2012, over 14.6 million plastic surgery procedures were performed in the U.S., according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Many people here in Illinois undergo these procedures to improve their appearance or restore physical function. Sadly, as surgical error lawyers in Chicago Heights can attest, cosmetic surgery doesn’t always produce these desired results. Sometimes, patients are instead left with painful, permanent or life-threatening complications.
As Healthline explains, plastic surgery errors can cause various cosmetic issues. These include bruising, scarring and final results that fall below patient expectations. In severe cases, patients may suffer from disfigurement due to mistakes during the procedure or complications afterward. These unintended cosmetic changes may have lasting psychological effects.
Plastic surgery also exposes patients to various complications associated with invasive procedures. Hematoma, or localized blood pooling, and internal bleeding are both risks during many surgeries. Another common problem, surgical site infection, can threaten the area operated on and the patient’s overall health. Finally, anesthesia complications can have serious consequences, including stroke, heart attack and even death.
Additionally, depending on the procedure, patients may face other unique risks. As any surgical error lawyers in Chicago Heights know, these include:
- Organ damage — organ perforation can occur during many plastic surgery procedures. The equipment used to perform liposuction may especially put patients at risk for organ damage.
- Deep vein thrombosis — some procedures raise the risk of DVT, which involves the formation of a blood clot in deep veins. This clot can break free to cause pulmonary embolism, or blockage of an artery in the lungs, which can be deadly.
- Nerve damage — this can cause tingling, pain, loss of sensation, weakness and even muscle paralysis. Nerve damage may occur when nerves are cut, cauterized or stretched during surgery.
Many of these cosmetic surgery complications can have life-changing consequences. Besides significant medical expenses, victims may face emotional suffering, physical health problems or functional restrictions. When these outcomes result from substandard medical care, injury victims may be able to pursue compensation.
Determining whether medical care was substandard is often challenging, since doctors usually must make subjective decisions based on unique circumstances. Generally, victims must prove a doctor provided negligent medical care through the testimony of an expert witness. In Illinois, this witness must be licensed in the same discipline as the treating medical professional. The witness also must devote significant attention to this discipline.
Given these criteria, finding a witness and proving a surgical oversight or error represents malpractice can be difficult. Considering this, injury victims may benefit from seeking the assistance of surgical error lawyers in Chicago Heights. These attorneys may be able to offer advice on documenting the claim and pursuing appropriate compensation.