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The dangers of cosmetic surgery

The dangers of cosmetic surgery are not always considered before a treatment is undertaken. The quest for physical perfection has never been so prevalent as it seems to be today. As mass media continues to portray an idealistic image of the perfect body, smile or face, the option of cosmetic surgery can become appealing to those in pursuit of the perfect look. This is highlighted by the fact that in the past 12 months over 28,000 people received invasive cosmetic procedures.

However, whilst cosmetic surgery may offer an opportunity to enhance your appearance, it also poses its own set of risks and challenges from a clinical negligence standpoint

In this article, we will discuss some of the pitfalls of cosmetic surgery as well as some of the complications that can arise as a result of clinical negligence.

It is worth noting that the majority of cosmetic procedures are carried out successfully in the UK, however, there are those who are victims of medical negligence.

Common complications that may give rise to a clinical negligence claim for cosmetic surgery

In the 21st century, there are a wide variety of options available for those looking to make cosmetic alterations to their bodies through surgery, however many forms of surgery share some common risks.


As with any surgical procedure, when a cosmetic treatment is carried out, it is essential that the equipment and room used are fully sterilised. Whilst infection is a recognised complication and as such not necessarily negligent if the actions or inactions of the staff increase those risks for example If they’re not thoroughly cleaned and sterilised then this could be deemed negligent.

During the recovery period post-surgery, the medical team charged with caring for you have an obligation to do all they can to ensure you remain infection-free. Infections can vary in severity and can range from external ailments to more serious infections that can be internal and could put your life at risk. It is imperative that infections are recognised quickly and dealt with appropriately.
What starts as a non-negligent complication may become negligent through a failure to recognise or treat the symptoms.

If an infection becomes evident and it could have been prevented, then you should seek guidance from one of our specialist clinical negligence solicitors as you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.

Nerve damage

Damage to nerves can occur after a number of different cosmetic procedures. Whilst numbness and tingling can often be common side-effects after a patient has had cosmetic surgery, prolonged numbness and tingling can also be a sign that more serious nerve damage may have occurred. Again nerve damage can be considered a recognised complication and it is important you are made aware of this before you agree to proceed. You do not agree however for poor surgery which damages nerves

Organ damage

Any type of surgery whether cosmetic or otherwise can prove to be a traumatic experience for the human body. However, invasive cosmetic procedures such as liposuction can be extremely bad news if they are not carried out by a competent medical professional who takes every possible precaution.

As liposuction uses a probe to remove fat from inside the body, it is likely that the probe will at some stage, come into contact with internal organs and this has the potential to damage them if the procedure is carried out negligently.

What happens if something goes wrong during the cosmetic procedure and I wasn’t aware of the risk beforehand?

Knowing what the risks are before you go through a cosmetic procedure is essential. It can often help an individual decide whether or not they actually want to proceed with the cosmetic treatment, therefore medical professionals are obliged to ensure that the person considering the dangers cosmetic surgery are fully informed of not only the benefits of having a particular treatment or procedure, alternatives that may offer the same or similar results and of course any risks or dangers, however rare if they are relevant to you and your decision.

Failure to do this could mean that the medical professional may be liable for a medical negligence claim.

You may also be able to pursue a clinical negligence claim if you have given your consent to undergo a procedure, and that procedure isn’t carried out to the reasonable standard.

What can you do if you’re a victim of a negligent cosmetic procedure?

Our clinical negligence team here at Thorneycroft Solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with a wide variety of cosmetic surgery compensation claims.

Whether the treatment was carried out by the NHS or by a private surgeon, our team can help you achieve the reparations you are due.

We understand that if a surgical procedure goes wrong, you can be left with life-long consequences and we aim to get you the financial compensation and rehabilitative treatment you may need following your case of clinical negligence.

If you’d like to discuss a potential claim following unsatisfactory cosmetic surgery please call 0800 1979 345 to arrange a free initial interview with a member of our medical negligence team.

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