Cosmetic surgeries can have the same complications as any surgical procedure. Patients must decide if it is worth the risk to get the look that they want, but they may not always know what they are risking. A woman in Georgia recently suffered permanent brain damage after experiencing complications during liposuction. This kind of injury is rare for cosmetic procedures, but the circumstances of the procedure put her at risk.
The 54-year-old patient wanted to look her best for her upcoming wedding, which was to take place in a few weeks. She visited a cosmetic surgeon in Lilburn, Georgia to discuss getting Botox and an additional anti-wrinkle treatment. While there, she was encouraged to get liposuction as well. In her eighth hour of surgery, however, her heart stopped, halting the flow of oxygen to her brain.
The medical spa and cosmetic surgery center where the procedure was performed did not have the equipment needed to revive her. Staff called 911, and paramedics were able to get her heart pumping when they arrived, but she would need to be taken to a hospital. This proved challenging, as she still had open incisions that needed to be sutured to prevent infection, and the stretcher she was on did not fit in the elevator. By the time the patient arrived at the hospital, permanent damage had been done.
It is unclear what caused the patient’s heart to stop during the procedure, but the steps taken afterward may have sealed her fate. Surgical centers such as the one this patient visited often are not as well equipped as hospitals, and therefore cannot handle some emergency situations when they arise. Had they been able to treat the patient at the surgical center, the brain injury might have been less extensive or might not have occurred at all.
The patient’s son filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against her doctor, who is currently facing three additional lawsuits. Five past medical malpractice lawsuits against this physician have been settled. The lawsuits allege a number of dangerous business practices, including negligent hiring, giving patients misinformation about their procedures, cutting corners, and performing procedures in locations that are unsafe or not properly equipped.
Because cosmetic procedures are elective and often not covered by insurance, there is a higher chance of fraud or malpractice. It is important for patients to do their research beforehand, both on the procedure and its risk, and on the practitioner. Doctors should always be upfront with patients about the risks they face from a certain procedure and, if their facility cannot handle these risks, they should perform the procedure elsewhere. When they are not equipped for emergencies that occur, the results can be devastating.
If you or a loved one has suffered complications from surgery, call the New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP. Our lawyers will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine if medical malpractice was a factor in your injury and hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence. We are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve. With offices conveniently located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, we help victims of surgical error throughout New Jersey. Call us today at 732-777-0100 or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer.