We all know that any surgical procedure is not without risk. Unfortunately for a Georgia woman, the hidden dangers of cosmetic surgery have resulted in brain damage that has changed her life forever. What makes this woman’s story even more profound is the fact that the doctor in charge of her care has been accused of medical malpractice before.
In this post, we will discuss this particular patient’s situation, as well as some of the other hidden dangers of cosmetic surgery that patients should be aware of. For more information about cosmetic surgery or medical malpractice, including brain damage, contact Brown & Brothers to speak with a medical malpractice attorney about your concerns.
Hidden Dangers of Cosmetic Surgery Result in Brain Damage
For a 54-year-old Georgia woman, an anti-wrinkle treatment and Botox was perfect preparation for her upcoming wedding. At her consultation, she was convinced to try liposuction. Eight hours into the procedure, the woman’s heart stopped. The office was not equipped to handle the emergency and called 911. When paramedics arrived, they were able to restart her heart, but the process was delayed.
Before transporting her to the hospital, the surgical team had to suture the open incisions closed to prevent infection. Once on the stretcher, paramedics had to carry it down the stairs because the elevator was not big enough to hold it. The patient held on during the trip to the hospital, but the damage had already been done. The lack of oxygen suffered in the meantime caused permanent brain damage.
Following the incident, the patient’s son filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on her behalf. The lawsuit claims that the surgeon cut corners, hired unqualified staff, misled customers on the risks of the surgeries they signed up for, and performed surgeries in offices that are unsafe. The brain damage his mother suffered has left her permanently disabled and she will require care for the rest of her life.
Medical Malpractice Case Reveals Startling History for Surgeon
On the heels of this brain damage medical malpractice case, investigators and media outlets started reviewing the surgeon’s history. What this review indicated was horrifying. The doctor who performed the surgery has previously settled five medical malpractice lawsuits, and has three others pending. The surgeon has also recently made headlines after videos of her dancing and singing in the operating room went viral. The videos show patients, exposed, on the operating table while the surgeon dances and sings.
What makes matters worse is that there appears to be a series of misleading information about the surgeon, her qualifications, and her staff. Her website touts that she is board certified as a dermatologist and surgeon, but a local newspaper found that she is not board certified as a surgeon at all – not general surgery or cosmetic surgery.
Investigators also found that the surgical suite was not accredited as an operating room or licensed surgical center. It did not have the proper equipment to monitor or manage emergencies. The lawsuit further alleges that the facility’s nurse manager is not a nurse, and that doctors not licensed in the United States were doing parts of the procedures without being monitored by the surgeon. Attorneys argue that such issues are well outside the standards of care.
Other similar lawsuits against this particular surgeon further allege that standards of care were violated in a variety of other procedures. One patient describes waking up from a botched revision surgery in a hotel room, with no idea of how she got there. Her family did not know where she was either, and it was later discovered that the surgeon had taken her there.
Hidden Dangers of Cosmetic Surgery
Every surgical procedure has risks, but those risks should not include risks related to unequipped facilities or improperly trained surgeons. Patients considering cosmetic surgery should be aware of possible hidden dangers, and should take steps to thoroughly investigate their providers before going under the knife.
Consider the following hidden dangers:
- Lax Regulations: Many states, including Georgia, have very few guidelines for doctors wishing to perform cosmetic procedures. The guidelines, which are not rules, generally recommend accreditation, but do not require it.
- Surgeon Training: Many surgeons that offer cosmetic procedures are not board certified to perform surgery, and many have little or no formal training in that area. Some take weekend classes, while others commit to being properly trained. This makes it difficult for patients to get a real idea of how trained their surgeon really is.
- Surgery Location: Consider that some surgical procedures are done in an outpatient environment, such as a “medical spa” or surgical center. These facilities are not always equipped to handle emergency situations. When emergencies do occur, patients must rely on the staff and equipment that is on-hand, and wait for additional help to arrive.
Cosmetic Surgery and Your Legal Rights
While cosmetic surgery is elective and not usually medically necessary, healthcare providers still must uphold the standards of care. Every patient should be treated in a manner that is consistent with their legal rights and the medical standards of care. Healthcare providers that fail do so, put their patients at risk for complications or even death.
If you are considering cosmetic surgery, contact Brown & Brothers before you schedule your procedure. Learn more about your legal rights and what your surgeon’s responsibilities and duties are. At Brown & Brothers, we offer advice and legal guidance to patients who have questions about surgical procedures, as well as those who believe they are victims of medical malpractice.
To learn more, or to schedule your free case evaluation, fill out our online form.