Liposuction Cosmetic Surgery Error
A liposuction is a form of cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is ‘elective’ in nature, and it can be described as any procedure undertaken with the aim of improving one’s aesthetic or physical appearance.
What is liposuction cosmetic surgery?
A liposuction is a form of cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is ‘elective’ in nature and it can be described as any procedure undertaken with the aim of improving one’s aesthetic or physical appearance. Liposuction removes fat from your body using suction. During liposuction, small, thin, blunt-tipped tubes (cannula) are inserted through tiny cuts in the skin. Fat is suctioned out through these tubes as the doctor moves the tubes around under the skin to target specific fat deposits.
Liposuction methods include
1. Tumescent liposuction
A local anesthetic is used to numb the area of your body where the tube will be asserted. Next, a large amount of an anesthetic solution containing lidocaine and epinephrine is injected into the fatty tissue before traditional liposuction is done. Tumescent liposuction may not require general anesthesia (which makes you sleep through the procedure).
2. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction
This technique uses ultrasound to liquefy the fat, which makes it easier to remove. This technique may be particularly helpful in removing fat from the upper abdomen, sides, and back.
3. Laser-assisted liposuction
This technique uses low-energy waves to liquefy the fat, which is removed through a small cannula.
Liposuction carries risks
Possible complications specific to liposuction include:
Contour irregularities, bumpy, wavy, or withered skin due to uneven fat removal, poor skin elasticity and unusual healing. Damage beneath the skin from the thin tube (cannula) that’s used during liposuction may give the skin a permanent spotted appearance.
- Fluid accumulation: Temporary pockets of fluid (seromas) can form under the skin. This fluid may need to be drained with a needle.
- Numbness: You may feel temporary or permanent numbness in the affected area. Temporary nerve irritation also is possible.
- Infection: Skin infections are rare but possible. A severe skin infection may be life-threatening.
- Internal puncture: Rarely, a cannula that penetrates too deeply may puncture an internal organ. This may require emergency surgical repair.
- Fat embolism: Pieces of loosened fat may break away and become trapped in a blood vessel and gather in the lungs or travel to the brain. A fat embolism is a medical emergency.
- Kidney and heart problems: Shifts in fluid levels as fluids are being injected and suctioned out can cause potentially life-threatening kidney and heart problems.
Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity or a substitute for proper diet and exercise.It is also not an effective treatment for cellulite – the dimpled skin that typically appears on the thighs, hips, and buttocks – or loose saggy skin.
Before you undertake any surgical procedure for cosmetic reasons you will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications. Do not sign any forms or consents if you are unsure or if you do not yet have all the requisite knowledge on the procedure.
Liposuction Carries Risks
At present in Ireland there is no regulation of cosmetic surgery practioners, meaning that there is nothing to prevent poorly qualified people from performing procedures for which they are ill equipped or not properly qualified to conduct. For this reason, people seeking plastic surgery should exercise extreme caution when considering to go under the knife in the name of plastic surgery.
The Irish Association of Plastic Surgeons (IAPS) has repeatedly made representations to both the medical authorities and to politicians to tighten up the entire area of medical beauty treatment but so far no action has been taken. The IAPS has also said that doctors who called themselves cosmetic surgeons were confusing the public. A fully-qualified surgeon will have completed around 15 years’ training and continued to train every year in an area of medicine that is evolving rapidly. Doctors who have not completed the training cannot appear on the Medical Council’s register of specialists in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery – thus, the risks associated with these procedures are so high.
In 2010, theIrish Medical Organisationissued a guidance paper entitled ‘Recommendations for patients considering surgical cosmetic procedures’. This document is a good place to start for anyone considering cosmetic surgery in Ireland and we would advise anyone considering same to read it by clicking on the hyperlinked text.
Unfortunately, the professional standards that should apply to this area do not as was discovered by a lady in 2006
You must ensure that your cosmetic surgeon:
- Is suitably qualified as a cosmetic surgeon.
- Has informed you of the benefits of cosmetic enhancements.
- Has discussed the risks thoroughly as well as any alternative treatment.
- Gives you what is known as a ‘cooling off period’ whilst you think about the best course of action for you.
- Perform the procedure in question with proper skill and due care.
The claim process
1. Consult our medical negligence solicitor
It is advisable for you to speak to an experienced team of Medical Negligence Solicitors as soon as possible if you believe that you were not provided with an adequate or appropriate level of medical care, which resulted in you sustaining an injury or illness.
2. We obtain your medical records
After the consultation with your medical negligence solicitor, he/she will request access to your medical records and engage an independent medical expert to assess your records. The purpose of engaging an independent expert is to establish whether there was any negligence on the part of the medical professional.
3. The medical negligence litigation process
Where the independent medical expert is of the professional opinion that medical negligence did occur, upon your instructions, your solicitor will commence the process of issuing legal proceedings in Court against the medical professional and/or hospital.
Statute of Limitation
The legal time limit to make a medical negligence claim is two years from the date of injury or date of knowledge that the injury or illness resulted from medical negligence. For children/minors, the time limit expires two years after their 18th birthday. You may contact a solicitor to discuss your case to advise of the Statute of Limitations applicable to your case.
If you have suffered an injury due to liposuction or other cosmetic surgery procedure or if you were not advised of relevant risks prior to your procedure, Coleman Legal may be able to assist you in recovering losses sustained by you and compensation. Additionally, if you have doubts about the quality of the procedure and think your surgery was not performed to a professional standard you may be able to recover compensation for your losses.
Proving negligence is not always straightforward in cosmetic surgery injury claims. Even if negligence is suspected, it can only be confirmed by an expert doctor or plastic surgeon. After a case has been investigated by a medical negligence solicitor, and evidence of an injury has been collected, an independent medical expert will be consulted to review the case to establish whether – under the circumstances – the surgeon was negligent and responsible for a patient coming to harm.
If it can be proven ‘on the balance of probabilities that the plastic surgeon was at fault, and injuries could have been prevented had the appropriate level of care been provided, it should be possible for compensation for a cosmetic surgery error to be recovered against the surgeon´s liability insurance policy.
One of the first steps in processing your claim would be to engage an independent medical expert to review your medical records and/or examine you for the purposes of furnishing an expert medical opinion.The expert opinion is used to support your claim and would need to show that the injury, loss and damage suffered by you could have been avoided if a more appropriate course of action had been taken.
Coleman Legal LLP
84 Talbot Street, Dublin 1
Request a Callback
Tell us about your case
Head of Client Services