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Cosmetic Surgery : What Happens When It Goes Wrong?

View profile for Kay Ditcham
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Cosmetic surgery is more popular than ever before, with many people paying for enhancements to their appearance. Lots of people opt for the less invasive Botox or filler injections, but in extreme cases people have had multiple surgeries in an effort to look like their favourite celebrities.  However, most people have a single procedure to improve what they perceive to be an imperfection in their appearance. 

In 2016 in the UK, the most popular cosmetic procedures were:


  1. Breast enhancement
  2. Liposuction
  3. Nose Job
  4. Eyelid Surgery
  5. Facelift.


These are now seen as routine procedures and are usually carried out as a day case in a hospital or private clinic, but with so many procedures being carried out it is inevitable that there will be times when things do not go to plan.


So What Happens When Something Goes Wrong?

As with any surgery, a client is entitled to be compensated if there is negligence in carrying out a cosmetic procedure. Additionally, in cosmetic surgery, the client may be entitled to sue for breach of contract as they will have paid for a service which has not been carried out to their satisfaction. 


I recently settled a claim for a lady who had approached a well-known cosmetic surgery clinic with a view to having breast enlargement surgery.  Whilst the surgery was initially carried out without any concerns, it soon afterwards became apparent that all was not well. The lady was suffering from a lot of pain and she did not have a proper cleavage between her breasts. After further consultations it transpired that she was suffering from symmastia, a condition usually caused due to breast implants being placed too far towards the midline of the sternum. She had to have further surgery to rectify the problem, during which it was discovered that one of the implants was ruptured. Unfortunately, the second surgery did not rectify the problem and she had to have a third operation to satisfactorily resolve the issues with the position and appearance of her breasts. 


I brought a claim against the surgeon for his negligent performance of the initial operation.  My client was entitled to be compensated for her pain and suffering, the additional surgeries she was required to undergo due to the surgeon’s negligence, and the additional scarring.  Whilst the surgeon initially denied liability, his solicitors entered into settlement negotiations after they were served with proceedings, and fortunately agreement was reached without the need for my client to go through the ordeal of attending a trial. 

She received compensation of almost £19,000.


Here at Tilly Bailey & Irvine we have a team of Clinical Negligence specialists who can deal with cosmetic surgery claims.

If you believe you have a claim or would like more information please do get in touch with me.