Can you claim compensation for breast surgery gone wrong?

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Many people choose to get cosmetic surgery in order to feel more confident in their appearance. One of the most common types of cosmetic surgery is breast surgery, of which there are four main kinds. If breast surgery runs smoothly from start to finish, you’ll likely come away from the whole experience feeling positive and happy about cosmetic procedures.

However, if your experience has not gone to plan and you’re left with a result you didn’t want or that is harmful to your health, you’ll be devastated. Your emotional and physical wellbeing will take a hit, and this can have a domino effect on other aspects of your life. You might not be able to work or enjoy time with friends or family, and it isn’t fair for you to experience this because of someone else’s error. Fortunately it is possible to claim breast surgery compensation if something went wrong at some point along the way.

Different types of breast surgery and how they can go wrong

As mentioned above, there are four main types of breast surgery. These are:

  • Enlargements
  • Uplifts
  • Reductions
  • Reconstructions

Because the surgeries all serve a different purpose and are carried out in different ways, they each come with their own risks. Your surgeon should make you aware of the risks of the surgery you are choosing to undergo and should get what is known as your “informed consent” before proceeding with the surgery. Your informed consent means that you understand the risks and possible outcomes and confirm that you are happy to go ahead with the procedure. If any medical professional fails to obtain this from you, they are breaching their duty of care and breaking the law.

Enlargements

Breast enlargements are the most common cosmetic procedure in the UK and are medically named “breast augmentations”. They either involve implants made of silicone gel or saline, and come with a number of risks, including:

  • Ruptures
  • Gel bleeds
  • Creasing and folds
  • Excessive scarring
  • Infections
  • Siliconomas – small lumps of silicone spreading to the muscles under your breasts
  • Painful nipples

Uplifts 

A breast uplift is called a “mastopexy” and involves excess skin around the breast being removed and the remaining skin being tightened.

Again, this procedure comes with its risks, including:

  • Blood clots
  • Excessive scarring
  • Destroyed nerve supply
  • Wonky breasts
  • Fat necrosis – the death of fatty tissue in your breasts

Reductions

Breast reduction surgery, called mammoplasty, is designed to reduce weight and volume in your breasts. This comes with risks, including:

  • Uneven breast and/or nipple shape
  • Infected wounds
  • Blood clots
  • Fat necrosis

Reconstructions

Breast reconstruction surgery is usually what women who have had a mastectomy after breast cancer undergo. Like the other three types of breast surgery, reconstruction comes with its own risks, including:

  • Blood clots
  • Fluid build up
  • Infected wounds
  • Tissue necrosis
  • Ruptures and leaks
  • Nerve and blood supply damage

When you can claim

If you have suffered any of the above complications and issues following breast surgery as a direct result of clinical negligence, you should contact a specialised cosmetic surgery negligence solicitor. They will be able to advise you on whether you could pursue a claim, and if you can will represent you throughout. There are criteria that must be met in order for a court to accept medical negligence claims, and these include a medical professional:

  • Making an error during your procedure, even if it was by accident
  • Failing to tell you the risks of the procedure
  • Failing to consider existing medical conditions you have
  • Using faulty equipment, including implants
  • Giving you the wrong diagnosis of anaesthetic
  • Providing inadequate post-op care

You have three years from the date of the medical negligence, or the date when you realised you were suffering due to negligence, to bring a claim. It’s best to seek the advice of a specialised solicitor as soon as possible though, so that you have the best chance for your claim to be successful.

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