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Medical malpractice claims filed by cosmetic surgery patients

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Hundreds of thousands of people in Idaho and around the country undergo cosmetic surgery procedures each year, and many of them subsequently accuse their physicians of medical malpractice because they were unhappy with the results. To better understand why so many cosmetic surgery patients file medical malpractice claims, one of the nations leading malpractice insurers studied 415 cases that were closed between 2015 and 2018. The results of this research suggest that cosmetic surgeons could greatly reduce their chances of being sued by being more open with their patients and tempering their expectations.

Cosmetic surgery malpractice claims

About two-thirds of the medical malpractice claims studied were filed by patients who were unhappy about the way their surgeries turned out or had to undergo additional procedures. The basis of these claims was usually emotional trauma, which suggests that the patients had unrealistic expectations and were not fully informed about the risks involved. Insurers made indemnity payments in only 26% of the cases studied, which means most of these claims were unsuccessful.

Out-of-scope procedures

Another cosmetic surgery medical malpractice study was published by the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in march 2023. After studying medical malpractice claims submitted between 1979 and 2022, the researchers discovered that most of the claims arising from minimally invasive procedures involved physicians who were practicing out of scope. This means the surgeons who were sued were not accredited to provide cosmetic procedures by the American Board of Medical Specialties. This suggests that a worryingly high number of straightforward cosmetic procedures are performed by surgeons who lack experience and proper training.

Unrealistic expectations

Studies of medical malpractice claims reveal that cosmetic surgery is often performed by unqualified or inexperienced physicians on patients who have unrealistic expectations. The studies also show that only about a quarter of the patients who file malpractice claims over allegedly botched plastic surgeries are compensated. Physicians may be able to avoid misunderstandings and legal disputes by being more candid with their patients, and patients could reduce their chances of being harmed by making sure that their surgeons have the proper credentials.