As the majority of cosmetic surgeries are elective, it's difficult to estimate how many people choose to go under the knife every year in Australia. However, for a number of years, breast augmentations have remained one of the most popular surgeries available.
Unfortunately, as the below case demonstrates, sometimes such procedures don't go to plan. While accidents do happen, a practitioner's negligence can also be to blame for issues in surgery.
Background of the case
After the birth of her second child, the plaintiff noticed that her breast size had significantly decreased. As a result, she searched the internet for a plastic surgeon. This is where she came across the defendant's website where he was described as a plastic surgeon. Advertising material on the website gave the impression he was qualified with suitable skill and experience in breast augmentation surgery. His quotation was $5,000 lower than any other practitioner, which the plaintiff felt justified making the trip from her home in Victoria to NSW to have the surgery.
The surgery took place on October 30, 2014. Much to the plaintiff's surprise, this was performed at the defendant's home. There was no prior examination or assessment.
Based on her own research, the plaintiff had requested that the defendant insert the breast implants below her pectoral muscles for a more natural looking outcome and to reduce the chances of adverse effects. However, the defendant persuaded the plaintiff he knew what he was doing and convinced her to have the implants inserted above the muscle.
In the weeks following her surgery, the plaintiff felt immense pain in her left breast. Medical practitioners in Victoria found that her incision had opened and become infected, and her breasts were uneven in appearance.
On multiple occasions, the plaintiff re-visited the defendant for follow-up surgeries to rectify the original problem and to have the uneven appearance of her breasts remedied.
What did the plaintiff claim for?
After a series of complications causing both physical and psychological injuries, the plaintiff claimed damages for professional negligence against the defendant. The court learned that the practitioner didn't hold the relevant qualifications to perform breast augmentation surgery, and that his overall conduct was unacceptable and unprofessional.
As a result of her ongoing trauma, the court awarded the plaintiff damages totaling $204,607.50.
If you've sustained injuries as a result of medical negligence, let the expert lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners guide you through the procedural steps. Get in touch with us today to find out more.