Medical Negligence

Botched Plastic Surgery Compensation Guide

By LHD Lawyers

Cosmetic surgery is becoming increasingly common in Australia, yet it remains one of our most unregulated areas of modern medicine. For instance, “cosmetic surgery” is not even recognised as a medical specialty, and medical professionals can give themselves the title Cosmetic Surgeon without needing to hold any specialist qualification.

So it’s not entirely surprising that even procedures performed by seemingly highly qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeons occasionally lead to a “botched” result.

We know people think long and hard before embarking on plastic surgery, and understand it will be extremely distressing if things don’t turn out as expected. This article answers some of the most common questions we get asked by people impacted by botched cosmetic procedures and provides some initial guidance for claiming cosmetic surgery compensation.

What is botched plastic surgery?

Medical malpractice, also known as medical negligence, is a term used to describe an incident where a medical professional has caused harm or injury to a patient while under their care.

Generally, a procedure is considered botched if it produces an undesirable result that could reasonably have been avoided. This includes the patient suffering subsequent medical issues that directly result from the surgery.

What are the most common cosmetic surgery compensation claims?

Cosmetic surgery compensation claims are most commonly due to:

  • Mistakes made by an operating surgeon who was inexperienced or not qualified in a particular procedure
  • Poor or insufficient pre-op or post-op planning or communication, including a failure to explain and gain fully-informed consent
  • The initial surgical technique was improper or performed under inadequate circumstances, and the patient then needed to undergo corrective surgery to remedy the error.

Some of the most common cosmetic procedures that claims arise from include:

  • Reconstructive facial surgery and grafts
  • Rhinoplasty procedures (e.g. ‘nose jobs’)
  • Facelifts and chin tucks
  • Breast augmentation
  • Liposuction and gastric banding
  • Labiaplasty and vaginal rejuvenation procedures

If you underwent surgery that resulted in complications or undesirable results due to avoidable reasons, then you may be considered a victim of medical malpractice.

Examples of botched plastic surgery

Infection, organ damage, nerve damage, excessive and ongoing bleeding and scarring can all be indicators of a botched cosmetic surgery procedure. Some specific examples could be:

  • Persistent and excessive nasal drainage following a nose job
  • Lung punctures, seizures, physical disfigurement and infections following breast augmentation surgery
  • Liposuction to a patient’s upper body that causes their lower body areas to sag or stretch
  • A surgical item left in a patient’s body
  • A patient develops an infection that could have been avoided or should have been detected at a follow-up appointment, resulting in the malfunctioning of various organs, shock and even death.

Can you sue a plastic surgeon?

If you are left suffering from symptoms that have arisen due to procedural errors or negligence by the surgeon or medical staff, you are entitled to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit and make a claim for medical negligence compensation against them.

It is important to note that patients experiencing common and unavoidable complications afterwards, or who believe their cosmetic changes do not look exactly how they expected, should not consider their surgeries to have been botched. That’s why, to manage expectations, it’s vital that a surgeon advises their patient as early as possible of common, unavoidable complications or undesirable results before the patient gives their consent for surgery. This gives the patient the opportunity to decide whether the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks.

What evidence do I need to prove medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice cases can be challenging to prove, so your legal team will need to do significant investigation and research into the specifics of your medical professionals’ actions and evaluate those actions against the best medical practices. Our specialised team of medical negligence lawyers are dedicated to providing you with a clear perspective on your case, supporting you in receiving the maximum appropriate amount of compensation possible, and helping you get your life back on track.

Is there a time limit to making a botched plastic surgery compensation claim?

If a claim is not commenced or resolved within either three years of the date of injury, or three years of the discoverability date depending upon the state in which the injury occurred, you can lose your right to lodge the claim. Cosmetic surgery negligence claims are a complex area of the legal system, and a variety of lengthy processes need to be undertaken before court proceedings can even begin. With this in mind, we recommend you get in touch with LHD Lawyers as soon as possible to discuss what happened to you and the potential for a claim.

How much is the payout for a botched plastic surgery claim?

Usually, the amount of compensation you receive will cover your medical expenses, your past and future loss of income, the pain and suffering caused to you, and even wrongful death (if the negligent cosmetic surgery procedure caused the death of a family member). However, everyone’s situation is different, so you should get in touch with the team at LHD Lawyers to discuss further how much compensation your claim might receive.

Make a botched plastic surgery claim today

LHD Lawyers help everyday Australians receive the benefits they’re entitled to for botched plastic surgery claims. We are so confident in our abilities to win your case that we stand firmly by our No Win No Fee Policy: if we don’t win, you won’t pay. Call 1800 455 725 for a no-obligation consultation about your case.


Author: Stephen Morgan

Original Publish Date: February 23, 2022

Last Updated: April 12, 2024

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