Painter Law Firm files medical malpractice lawsuit against Woodlands plastic surgeon Thomas P. McHugh, M.D.


Medical expert: Dr. McHugh used wrong-size implants, caused nerve damage

February 1, 2019

Painter Law Firm filed a medical malpractice lawsuit today on behalf of a client who had a bad plastic surgery experience with Thomas P. McHugh, M.D. Dr. McHugh practices at McHugh Plastic Surgery, 26511 I-45 North, The Woodlands, Texas 77380. You can read the petition here.

The Harris County District Clerk assigned the case cause number 201908226 in the 152nd District Court, where The Honorable Robert Schaffer is the presiding judge.

About 10 years before seeing Dr. McHugh for the first time, our client had a breast augmentation procedure performed by a different surgeon. She consulted him to explore the possibility of having the old implants removed and going to a larger implant size, in an elective cosmetic surgery.

Despite her smaller chest size, Dr. McHugh recommended a large high profile Natrelle implant of approximately 800 cc.

As part of our thorough workup of this case, our law firm hired a board-certified plastic surgeon to review the medical records. According to this medical expert, our client’s problems began with Dr. McHugh’s recommendation for an implant size that was too large for her chest.

Dr. McHugh performed the surgery at Houston Northwest Medical Center, located in the Red Oak area off FM 1960 West. After the surgery, it didn’t take long until our client was experiencing severe pain in her left breast.

She went to her post-operative appointments with Dr. McHugh religiously. He noted in the pain in his office chart and the subsequent developments of new redness and drainage in her left breast.

He decided to return her to the operating room, where he removed the left breast implant, immersed it in an antibiotic solution, and put it back in her chest. Breast implant manufacturers recommend against this practice because of contamination concerns.

Sure enough, our client’s problems didn’t get any better after that second surgery. Dr. McHugh returned her to the hospital for yet another surgery. This time, he removed the left breast implant and took a culture to see if there was an infection. It came back positive for a bacterial infection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Over the following months, she continued to experience severe pain over her left breast area and her surgical site kept opening up. This led to another hospital admission and a long course of IV antibiotics. Dr. McHugh ended up referring her to a pain management physician.

Last fall, after enduring a year and a half of severe throbbing, burning, and shooting pain through her left nipple and surgical scar, she went to a new plastic surgeon for revision surgery to try and put her left chest back together.

Our board-certified plastic surgery medical expert shared his opinion that Dr. McHugh didn’t meet the standard of care regarding this patient by his:

(1) Failure to perform an extensive pre-operative examination, including documentation of detailed breast measurements.

(2) Failure to use the breast base width diameter as the guide for selection of the appropriate implant size consistent with manufacturer recommendations.

(3) Failure to abide by adequate surgical principles and breast pocket dissection by identifying and protecting nerves, resulting in injury to the intercostal nerves and chronic pain.

(4) Failure to abide by adequate surgical principles in breast wound closure by avoiding placement of an oversized breast implant and an altered breast pocket, creating skin tension and wound dehiscence.

We are here to help

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by plastic or cosmetic surgical care, then the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Painter Law Firm, in Houston, Texas, are here to help. Click here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form or call us at 281-580-8800.

All consultations are free and, because we only represent clients on a contingency fee, you will owe us nothing unless we win your case. We handle cases in the Houston area and all over Texas. We are currently working on medical malpractice lawsuits in Houston, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Conroe, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Bryan/College Station, and Waco.


Robert Painter is a medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits against hospitals, physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare providers. A member of the board of directors of the Houston Bar Association, he was honored, in 2018, by H Texas as one of Houston’s top lawyers. In May 2018, the Better Business Bureau recognized Painter Law Firm PLLC with its Award of Distinction.

Robert Painter

Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC.


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