What are the dangers of cosmetic surgery?

Posted by Malcolm Johnson on
Cosmetic Surgery Dangers

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Channel Five's programme "Botched Up Bodies" went out this week on television. More and more people are going under the knife for the sake of their looks, but what are the dangers of cosmetic surgery? Here are a few of them explained.

The clinic may have no or inadequate insurance 

Private cosmetic surgery is largely unregulated, which means that a victim of botched surgery may find that their Defendant has no insurance and no means of paying a substantial claim. The case of XYZ (Claimants) versus Various Parties [2014] EWHC 4056 (QB) demonstrates the dreadful mess that was left behind following the liquidation of Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) a French company manufacturing and selling breast implants made from cheaper industrial-grade silicone. The ongoing group litigation in this country involves nearly 1,000 women seeking damages from private hospitals for supplying the defective implants together with their insurers and other parties.

Cosmetic surgery can cause complications

Anyone who undergoes surgery should be warned of possible complications and risks. Sadly not every cosmetic clinic outlines the risks associated with quite simple procedures, such as Botox injections, which can paralyze facial muscles. There may be infection, swelling or scarring. In Williamson v East London and City Health Authority [1998] Lloyd's Rep Med 6 the court held a plastic surgeon liable for not giving sufficient information about the extent of the breast operation she intended to perform.

Do you really need this surgery?

There are cases where surgeons have pushed private patients into procedures that they do not need. In Appleton v Garrett [1997] 8 Med LR 75, the court awarded aggravated damages to a set of Claimants whose dentist had carried out unnecessary dental treatment for the sole purpose of getting himself work.

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About the Author

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Malcolm is an Senior Associate in our London office, with nearly twenty years' experience.

Malcolm Johnson
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