Since most plastic surgery procedures are paid for out of pocket, many doctors have expanded their practices to include plastic surgery, despite not having specialized in the field. To prevail in a plastic surgery malpractice case, a patient must prove the following:
- The surgeon had a duty to the patient.
- The standard of care was not met.
- The surgeon was the cause of the patient’s injuries.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) recommend researching a cosmetic procedure thoroughly beforehand and talking to patients who have had the same procedure. CNN offers five tips for choosing a cosmetic surgeon:
- Make sure the surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This can be done on the American Board of Medical Specialties’ website. Board-certified plastic surgeons complete a minimum of two to three years of training in plastic surgery, in addition to training in general surgery. Plus, board-certified plastic surgeons have additional testing and continuing education requirements.
- Check the surgeon’s record for previous malpractice on your state’s medical board website. Many states list malpractice judgments and disciplinary actions by the board.
- Ask if the surgeon has hospital privileges, even if your procedure is going to occur at an outpatient clinic. Hospitals do background checks, so if a cosmetic surgeon lacks these privileges, it is a red flag.
- Come prepared with questions for your potential surgeon. One of the most important questions to ask is how often the surgeon performs the same procedure in which you are interested. You should also ask about the risks of the procedure, and what the recovery entails.
- Be wary of multiple procedures. Although it might be cost efficient and lucrative for a surgeon to perform multiple procedures at once, the more procedures you have, the riskier it is.
If you suspect something went wrong during your cosmetic procedure, consult experienced Indiana medical malpractice attorneys who can protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.