What To Know About Filing A Breast Implant Malpractice Claim

If you recently had breast implants, you expect to look better than you did before the surgery. However, many things can go wrong with the implants, and you can recover damages. Just like other doctors, cosmetic surgeons must follow a standard of care, but suing them can be tricky, since breast implant surgeries are elective. Here are some things to know about breast implant malpractice claims.

Medical Negligence vs. Assumed Risks

A common defense to breast implant malpractice is assumed risk, which means you have agreed to the surgery knowing the possible risks. Any type of procedure has assumed risks associated with it, not related to negligence. Typical risks associated with breast implants include:

  • scarring
  • leakage
  • breast pain
  • loss of feeling in nipples or breasts
  • skin rashes
  • pooling of fluid around the implant (seroma)
  • pooling of blood near the incision (hematoma)
  • rupture in the lining of the implant
  • implant deflation

However, this does not apply to unexpected danger. Medical negligence in breast implant surgery include:

  • Inserting the Wrong Implant. Some surgeons try to save money by using banned implants or expired implants which could cause infection.
  • Procedural Neglect. Examples of procedural neglect include using an implant that is too big for the patient, or placing the implant incorrectly.
  • Improper Patient Screening. Breast implant surgeons have a duty to screen patients to ensure they won't suffer major complications. If you are in poor health and the surgeon approves you for surgery, any complications provide a basis for a malpractice claim.

Negligence does not apply because you are unhappy with the outcome, since that would not be an injury.

Jury Bias

Another problem with breast implant cases is jury bias, which is natural for cosmetic procedures, since they are elective. Don't look for them to be sympathetic. The jury may conclude you just weren't satisfied, or you shouldn't have undergone surgery in the first place, although the surgeon committed malpractice. The defense lawyer will be aware of this.

Filing a Claim

To file a claim, you must prove:

  • A doctor and patient relationship exists, and the surgeon violated the breach of care.
  • The doctor is the right party to sue. In some cases, an implant manufacturer could be responsible for a defective product, or the anesthesiologist for giving you too much anesthesia.
  • The surgeon didn't provide the standard of care to prevent harm to the patient that a surgeon with the same skills would follow.
  • You have injuries as a result of neglect.

You have the right to be given the highest level of care regardless of the type of surgery. It is possible to settle out of court, but if that fails, an injury lawyer can help you with litigation, or answer questions.