Cosmetic surgeons sued more often than for general surgery

The rising cost of legal action due to cosmetic surgery that has gone wrong is forcing anybody who is connected with the surgery to ensure they are properly covered by sufficient PI insurance. Some of the claims made against cosmetic surgeons recently have uncovered the fact that many professionals are not covered.

The figures indicate that claims made due to bad cosmetic surgery are nearly twice as likely to be successful as those for general surgical procedures which have suffered complications.

The recent furore about breast implants in France and the suspicion that similarly poor procedures have been made with British women has brought the litigation figures to light.

The Medical Defence Union was recently reported to renew calls for all health professionals to take out pi insurance cover against claims of poor surgery and negligence due to the growing number of legal actions.

Of the main types of surgery where complications had resulted in legal action, the MDU reported that facelifts, weight loss procedures, eyelid modifications, nose reductions and breast enlargements were the most common. Some liability claims were in excess of ₤500,000.

The MDU’s figures show that of cosmetic surgery liability cases are successful in just under fifty percent of cases, whereas liability action for standard general surgery, i.e. non cosmetic, were about thirty percent successful.

According to the MDU, the reasons for the increase in legal action that it had noted were varied. One reason was simply that there were many more cosmetic surgical operations taking place these days compared to a decade ago. Another reason was quoted as being due to the fact that many customers were developing far too unreasonable expectations of success in the surgery and were not very happy when they didn’t get what they expected.

A more serious issue was the fact that too many surgeons were continuing to carry out surgery without conveying the options properly to the customers and gaining their consent in the right way. Along a similar vein, it was also thought that there were genuine cases of shoddy work being carried out by surgeons.

Apparently there have been some cases where patients have received scars and burns during their surgery by surgeons who did not have PI insurance.

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