Can You Sue for Nerve Damage Sustained During Plastic Surgery?

By November 10, 2016Medical Malpractice

Malpractice Attorneys Serving Victims of Nerve Damage by St. Louis Plastic Surgeons

For the most part, plastic surgery procedures are considered elective. While there are some that are done out of medical necessity, rarely are these done on an emergency basis. Instead, the patient has time to consider the procedure, understand the risks and benefits, and make an informed decision.

So, what happens if a patient suffers from nerve damage during that procedure? Even if nerve damage was covered as a potential risk, can the patient retrieve compensation when the damage was done due to physician oversight or negligence?

Numbness and Normal Effects

There are instances where plastic surgery can leave a patient with numbness or a tingling sensation, but this will usually dissipate a few days or weeks later. In some cases, patients may have sensitivity in the area where they received their procedure, but this is normal. If, however, the pain is excruciating, doesn’t go away, or there is permanent nerve damage, the patient may need to explore other options.

Nerve Damage: How It Occurs During Plastic Surgery

Nerve damage can occur in any type of surgical procedure – not just plastic surgery. When the nerve is stretched, accidentally severed, or cauterized, it may become permanently damaged. The effect of this varies, depending on the nerve affected. Some patients may experience sensory deficits, such as tingling, while others may have severe deficits that include weakness or paralysis.

For some, the effects are permanent.

Plastic surgeries done on the face, especially those performed to improve facial enhancements, have a higher risk for nerve damage. Facelift patients, for example, may have permanent numbness, a loss of motion in the jaw, or drooping features.

Is A Plastic Surgeon Liable When Nerve Damage Occurs?

If a patient experiences nerve damage after a surgical procedure, they may have a medical malpractice claim, regardless of whether or not the procedure was elective. However, they must prove fault, just like in a regular medical malpractice case. If successful, a single or multiple parties may be involved in the suit, such as the nursing staff, the clinic where the procedure was performed, or the surgeon.

A plastic surgeon, just like other physicians, is held to a higher standard when it comes to professionalism and effectiveness. They must meet a standard of care that their peers would give to their patients and would expect to receive from other professionals in that same field. When the physician operates below that acceptable standard, and an injury occurs, the physician is then considered liable under malpractice laws.

A medical malpractice lawsuit for nerve damage, especially during elective procedures, involves highly technical information that an attorney is better suited to decode. Patients who have suffered from nerve damage may have long-term medical costs associated with the recovery or permanent disfigurement, which means that an attorney will need to enlist the help of other physicians to assess the damages and determine what settlement is adequate.

Contact a Malpractice Attorney for Your Plastic Surgery Injuries

If you have suffered an injury after an elective cosmetic procedure (whether nerve damage or another type of injury), the attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe Attorneys at Law can assist you with your potential malpractice claim. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation at 877-678-3400 or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.