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Cosmetic surgery negligence claims

As society’s attitude to cosmetic surgery has developed, with cosmetic surgery becoming a more acceptable lifestyle choice, the UK has witnessed a boom in the number of related treatments and surgeries. As a result of the increased number of operations, there has also been an increase in the number of cosmetic surgery related claims as a result of the healthcare institution’s negligence. Medical negligence claims as a result of botched breast augmentations, nose jobs and liposuction have now become commonplace.

Cosmetic Surgery Negligence Claims

Cosmetic surgery negligence claims differ to more straightforward personal injury claims in the sense that their results can be quite subjective, as it is difficult to assess the outcome of a cosmetic surgery. Someone who had surgery, but is unhappy with the results, will probably not be successful in making a claim against their surgeon, as it would be unlikely they could prove that their surgery was conducted so negligently as to warrant compensation.

For a claim to be successful it would need to be demonstrated that the surgeon/institution’s negligence was so severe that it breached their duty of care owed to their patients.

Determining the Standard of Care Owed

If the clinic providing the surgery, or the surgeon themselves, has provided an express warranty as to the standard of care that will be given, or the level of expertise that exists, particularly if this expression is included in the contract undertaken by the patient, they have a duty to provide to this standard of care. Expressions which will indicate the standard of care owed include the surgery or the surgeon asserting they are “a centre of excellence”, or the surgeon who carries out the work is “the best in his field”. If they rely on these assertions, they will need to provide the standard of care expected.

Factors to Look Out For

All clinics which provide cosmetic surgery in the UK need to be registered as an independent hospital, under the Care Standards Act. Additionally, there are national standards which the government has set to ensure that a certain minimum level of care is required and provided. One of the factors, for example, regulates the minimum level of waiting time required between the initial consultation period a patient has, and the time they are allowed to actually have their surgery. This prevents the patient from feeling like they have to make a rushed decision, and gives them enough time to reflect on whether this is the best option for their problem.

Another standard which needs to be considered is the level of psychological support offered to potential patients. Those undergoing serious surgeries should be offered psychological support before they make their decision to ensure that they are psychologically healthy and understand the severity of the surgery they are about to have. The clinic should also give patients guidance in writing which explains the terms and conditions of their contracts, so they understand fully what they are signing up for.

Failure to comply with these standards will support a case for cosmetic surgery compensation should your surgery go wrong due to the clinic or the surgeon’s negligence. If you believe you have a claim, we can help as we have significant experience in cosmetic surgery claims. We provide free assessment, so you can discover whether you have a realistic claim.

Call us for free: 0800 015 5500

For more help, visit our additional cosmetic treatments negligence site.