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Plastic Surgery: Analyzing Liability and Damages

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Plastic Surgery: Analyzing Liability and Damages

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analyzing plastic surgery medical malpractice casesA medical malpractice case involving plastic surgery needs to be carefully screened. These can be difficult cases for the plaintiff attorney to win. Here are some questions to consider for a plastic surgery medical malpractice case screening.

• Was the patient medically cleared by a family practice doctor or cardiologist prior to surgery?

• Was the physician board certified in plastic surgery? This can be ascertained by checking with the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. This information is available free of charge from the American Board of Medical Specialties or by calling the board directly and asking for a doctor’s certification status.

• What are the doctor’s credentials? Where did he or she go to medical school? Did the doctor do a residency in plastic surgery? Most state medical board websites have this information available to the public.

• Was the plastic surgery performed in a hospital setting in case there were complications?

• If the procedure was done in an office setting or small surgery center, did the doctor have admitting privileges to a hospital?

• How many times had s/he performed the particular procedure?

• If the patient received anesthesia, who gave it? Was that person an MD anesthesiologist or a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist? What were the qualifications and level of training of the anesthetist?

• Did the surgeon recommend a psychological evaluation prior to surgery?

• What was the expected aesthetic outcome of the procedure?

• Did the surgeon provide an exhaustive explanation of risks, benefits and alternatives?

• What are the damages? Is the patient claiming to have suffered an infection, burn, nerve damage, anesthesia reaction, disparity between one side versus the other (such as a smaller breast)?

This blog was modified from a guest blog prepared by Kathleen Cunningham RN. Contact Med League for assistance in screening medical malpactice cases.

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