With plastic and cosmetic surgery becoming increasingly popular, it comes as no surprise that our office regularly receives calls from patients seriously injured from medical malpractice in plastic and cosmetic surgical procedures.
I imagine the risk that most people think of when it comes to plastic or cosmetic surgery is dissatisfaction with the results. In my experience as a Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyer, though, when things go wrong, they can go terribly wrong.
I am currently representing the family of a woman in her 40s who died from blood clots a few days after having cosmetic surgical procedures including liposuction, abdominoplasty, and mastopexy, done at First Baptist Medical Center, in Dallas.
In other situations, patients can have sustained permanent nerve injury from techniques used during plastic surgery procedures. I am working on a Houston case now where a plastic surgeon sutured around a nerve during a breast implant surgery, causing the woman to experience constant pain.
Other nerve injuries from cosmetic surgery can be life-changing and disabling. A nurse in her 40s recently filed a medical negligence lawsuit over a ”Brazilian Butt Lift” gone bad at the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute and Dallas Day Surgery Center. The woman had planned for what she described as a minor makeover, but awoke from surgery and could not feel her feet or legs. She believes that her injuries are permanent and that she will never be able to walk or work again.
According to the lawsuit, her plastic/cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Sameer Jejurikar, injected too much fat into the muscles above her sciatic nerve, which caused nerve damage.
The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that begins in the lower back and runs through the buttocks and down the lower limbs. It is the longest and widest single nerve and the whole body. Many people are aware of the sciatic nerve because of the condition sciatica, which causes pain to run down one or both legs from the lower back.
After the procedure, she was discharged to the Cloister at Park Lane, which is a luxury post-operative Hotel located next to the Dallas Day Surgery facility. The Cloister’s website says that it provides nursing care at all times to assist with the needs of patients, so patients can recover in comfort without having to rely on friends or family for their care.
The patient recalled feeling like something was wrong and feeling that she needed return to the hospital. According to the lawsuit, she was kept at the Cloister too long, when she should have been transferred back to the hospital, where she could receive a higher level of care to address her serious problems.
What you can do
Before deciding to proceed with any surgical procedure, including plastic or cosmetic surgery, I recommend doing your own research about the risks of proceeding. In my experience in handling medical malpractice cases, clients frequently tell me that their surgeons describe the aesthetic benefits of plastic or cosmetic surgery, while minimizing the recovery and risks.
By doing your own research, even before consulting a plastic or cosmetic surgeon, you can decide whether the risk of a potential procedure is acceptable to you.
If you decide you want to proceed and meet with the surgeon, you can check the surgeon’s education, training, board certification, and some disciplinary history at the Texas Medical Board website. During your initial consultation, ask the surgeon about his or her experience in performing the procedures that interest you, as well as complication rates. It is also good idea to discuss the risks thoroughly, as well as what you should look out for post-operatively—in other words, what you need to do and when you need to get help.
If you or someone you care for has been seriously injured or disabled as a result of cosmetic or plastic surgery, call the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Painter Law Firm, in Houston, Texas, at 281-580-8800, for a free consultation about your potential case.
Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. A former hospital administrator, he represents patients and their families in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits against doctors, surgical facilities, surgeons, hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers. Since 2012, he has been recognized by Martindale Hubbell with the prestigious AV designation and, in 2017, was named as one of Houston’s top lawyers by both H Texas and Houstonia magazines.