Plastic Surgery Errors

Errors that occur during plastic surgery can be just as damaging—and even as life-threatening—as errors that occur during non-elective procedures. Like any surgery, plastic surgery is complicated and comes with many risks. Plastic surgeons are highly trained specialists who owe a substantial duty of care to their patients, who in turn entrust their doctors with their lives.

What Are Common Plastic Surgery Errors?

A 2020 article published in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine found that in 2015, there were 1.5 million plastic surgery procedures performed in the US, and more than three million nonsurgical cosmetic procedures. The most common, according to this article, were "surgeries of the breast and abdominal wall, specifically implants, liposuction, and subcutaneous injections." Some common complications associated with cosmetic surgeries included "postoperative infections, thromboembolic events, skin necrosis, hemorrhage, pulmonary edema, fat embolism syndrome, bowel cavity perforation, intra-abdominal injury, local seroma formation, and local anesthetic systemic toxicity.” In 2017, according to Healthline, “Americans spent more than $6.5 billion on cosmetic surgery.” Here are some of the most common plastic surgery errors that reportedly occurred:

  • Hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, reportedly occurs in 1% of breast augmentation surgeries and 1% of facelifts.
  • Seroma, a sometimes painful buildup of bodily fluids below the skin, occurs in 15-30% of abdominoplasties.
  • Blood loss can happen during and after surgery, and may be fatal if not properly addressed.
  • Infections occur in 1.1-2.5% of breast augmentation patients, according to Healthline.
  • Deep vein thrombosis, the formation of blood clots in deep veins that can travel to the patient's lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism, occur in 0.09% of plastic surgery patients, but are potentially fatal for those they affect.

Not all plastic surgery errors are malpractice. All procedures come with risks, after all. Generally speaking, malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to uphold their duty of care to their patient, causing harm. In plastic surgery, that might refer to instances when surgeons perform the incorrect operation; when they fail to use the proper dosage of anesthesia; when they leave surgical tools inside the patient; or when they don’t fully inform their patient of the risks associated with a procedure.

What Can I Do If I’m a Victim of Plastic Surgery Errors?

Victims of malpractice-related plastic surgery errors generally must demonstrate that the plastic surgeon had a duty of care to the patient; that the surgeon failed to uphold that duty of care by acting negligently (or not at all); that the patient suffered an injury; and that the injury was caused by the doctor's duty of care. Victims of plastic surgery errors may be able to recover the cost of medical bills and lost wages; they may also be able to recover damages for pain and mental suffering, and even punitive damages.

Medical malpractice cases involving plastic surgery errors can be complex and require the testimony of expert witnesses, which is why patients should be careful to choose only skilled lawyers with experience winning medical malpractice claims. The New York-based medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan have many decades of experience seeking justice for the victims of plastic surgery errors. Please reach out to our attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.

Client Reviews
Last year I was injured in an accident, and for the first time, needed the advice of an attorney regarding how to proceed. I was referred to Thomas Gallivan through a family member who is a lawyer in Massachusetts. I am beyond pleased with how Thomas handled my case. He was knowledgeable, professional, and although the case was not as straightforward as some, he used every resource to ensure a positive outcome. Thomas communicated with me regularly and I felt completely informed and confident in his ability. He expertly negotiated a fair settlement that I was very happy with. The entire experience was extremely positive, during a stressful time for me. Thank you Thomas. Melanie
My mom was the victim of nursing home neglect/abuse. I retained Tom and he provided great representation in a professional, courteous fashion. He made a very uncomfortable ordeal bearable. I would highly recommend his services to anyone in need of sound guidance and professional representation. Paul D.
Tom Gallivan fought for - and won - a settlement on behalf of my mother, who suffered terrible pressure sores due to nursing home neglect. I will always be grateful for his diligence and hard work, and for keeping me informed during the entire process. He will fight for you every step of the way. Trudy
Mr. Gallivan did an exceptional job representing our family during a nursing home law suit. He took care of every detail and put us at ease during a very emotional trial. I would very highly recommend him and his firm of outstanding professionals. Jane
Mr. Gallivan was the best choice I could have possibly made to represent me in mom's nursing home neglect case. He kept me informed & updated every step of the way & not only listened but acted on all my concerns. I would highly recommend him as a very professional, diligent, & knowledgeable attorney. Steve
Tom Gallivan represented me for a car accident I was involved in. He not only returned calls and emails promptly, his expertise helped me obtain a nice settlement. His compassion for me was heart-warming and much appreciated. Thank you kindly , Mr. Gallivan. Joanne