Posted by Ben Lees, Partner
Know the facts: the dangers of common cosmetic procedures
London is a hub of cosmetic procedures and often at the cutting edge of new techniques. But is this growing industry as safe as some might want you to believe?
It is difficult to walk down the street in London without seeing an advert for cosmetic surgery, or go online without being bombarded with images of ‘perfect’ celebrity bodies.
We often hear how this exposure can change the way we view our own bodies, and the volume of people now choosing to have surgery does seem to suggest that more people are indeed feeling the pressure to take drastic action when it comes to their appearance.
Whether this new attitude to cosmetic surgery is concerning is not for me to say. However, what does cause me alarm is that this £3.5 billion-a-year cosmetic surgery market is still largely unregulated, and with over 51,000 Britons opting for cosmetic surgery in 2015 some might begin to think these – often serious – procedures are routine.
So to help you understand a little more about cosmetic surgery, we’ve called on our experience in helping victims of negligent treatment to bring you the most common cosmetic surgery blunders;
Rhinoplasty – the ‘nose job’
The majority of us are familiar with the concept of a ‘nose job’, technically called a rhinoplasty, but what you may not be aware of is how this seemingly common procedure can go wrong.
This procedure can be ‘open’ or ‘closed’. A closed rhinoplasty involves the surgeon making one or more incisions along the inside of the nose and lifting the skin from the nasal bone structure. An open rhinoplasty does use the same incisions but also requires an incision to be made beneath the column of tissue that separates the nostrils. This does result in a small scar on the exterior of the nose, but if done correctly it should heal well and not be noticeable.
Both types of procedure are performed under general anaesthetic, and the recovery from a rhinoplasty procedure tends to be a few months.
What can go wrong with a rhinoplasty?
A rhinoplasty is a relatively common procedure, but not completely risk-free. Whilst some injuries can occur without fault, many complications actually arise through the negligence of medical professionals.
Some of the complications after a negligent rhinoplasty can be life-changing. These include:
- haematoma (blood clots)
- nerve injury
- breathing problems
- decreased sense of smell/taste
- damage to the septum (the tissue separating your nostrils)
- asymmetrical nostrils or contour irregularities caused by removing too much tissue
- retracted or hanging columella (the bridge of nose)
If you believe that you or someone you know has experienced any of these symptoms or complications, it is important to talk to a solicitor who can help you secure payment for restorative treatment.
Cosmetic breast surgery
Cosmetic breast surgery remains the most common cosmetic procedure for women, with 7,732 operations in 2016. It is often performed in order to help women boost their body confidence and to feel comfortable with the size and shape of their breasts.
Cosmetic breast surgery is a broad term that includes enlargement, augmentation, reduction or uplift. Often a patient can undergo the procedure and be discharged within the same day.
Whether it is enlargement, augmentation, or simply a perkier bust, there are a number of ways that breast surgery can go wrong.
What can go wrong with cosmetic breast surgery?
When it comes to negligent breast surgery, the consequences can affect you both physically and emotionally. Rather than seeing the improvements you were expecting, you may be left in severe pain and with disfigurements such as scarring or a lack of symmetry.
Some of the more common issues with breast surgery include:
- capsular Contracture – this is where the layer of scar tissue that the body normally grows around the implant contracts, resulting in the implant being hard or a different shape. This can lead to pain and the implant may need removal/replacement
- bleeding into the breast tissue causing swollen, painful breasts
- infection which can lead to scarring
- visible implants
- reduction/loss of nipple sensation
- haematoma (blood clots)
Many of these complications can be dealt with by further procedures, however these can be expensive. To secure financial compensation for a procedure that you are unhappy with, it is important that you speak to a solicitor who specialises in cosmetic surgery.
The quest for the perfect smile has led to a cosmetic dentistry boom in recent years, with experts estimating that the 100 largest dental firms have increased their turnover by almost 25% in four years.
Cosmetic dentistry includes a wide variety of procedures, anything from fillings and orthodontic work such as braces. All the way through to teeth whitening, crowns, veneers, and even more invasive procedures such as gum contouring and implants.
What can go wrong with cosmetic dentistry?
As with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with cosmetic dentistry. And they can be very serious, as well as expensive and painful to fix.
Some examples of negligent cosmetic dentistry include:
- poorly fitting cosmetic crowns that are hard to clean so food gets trapped underneath
- badly fitted veneers that fall off, or are the wrong size causing discomfort
- poorly fitting orthodontic appliances causing damage and financial loss
- poor outcome due to a dentist carrying out too much work at once (known as ‘over-preparation’).
What can you do if a plastic surgeon, or dentist, has been negligent?
If you feel that you have been subjected to negligent treatment, you should seek legal help as soon as possible. An award of compensation can contribute towards any financial burdens you have suffered or are likely to suffer in the future as well as the physical and emotional distress involved.
How we can help those who have suffered from negligent care
Our specialist lawyers will guide you through the process and make everything as simple as possible. We are true specialists in clinical negligence, and our expertise is ranked in the top tier by both leading Legal Directories. Furthermore, several team members are ranked as Leaders in the field. We are independently accredited by The Law Society, and Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), so you know you are in safe hands.
Medical negligence solicitors who understand what you’re going through