Breast implant surgery is also known as breast augmentation, mammoplasty enlargement, and breast enlargement. The goal of this surgery is generally to alter the shape and increase the size of a woman’s breasts. It can be done for cosmetic or reconstruction purposes.
Some breast implant surgeries involve the removal of implants that were previously placed in the person. Breast implant surgeries may require special training or specialization for the medical professional performing the procedure.
Breast implant surgery is a popular procedure for women who feel their breasts are too small or for women who want to provide some boost in their breasts as they age. However, this common surgical procedure comes with many risks. Many breast surgery procedures end in injury and if this occurs, it is possible to file a claim for medical malpractice if negligence is present.
Some risks of breast implant surgery include:
- Leaking or rupture of the implant;
- Incorrect placement or position of the implant;
- Incorrect stitching or healing of the incisions; and/or
- Various other issues.
Cosmetic errors can also occur, including accidental implant of the wrong size, or unevenly matched implants (the left one being a different size or shape from the right). These types of errors can result in additional surgeries in order to fix or under the issues.
Like any surgery, there are risks such as scarring, internal bleeding, infection while the wound heals, and changes in the skin area around the surgical wounds and areas. These types of injuries and surgical errors may require a lawsuit, which is often based on medical malpractice legal theories.
When a doctor or medical institution doesn’t take the correct care with a patient and the result is harm, it is possible to file a suit for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice claims are often based on charges of negligence.
In order to prove negligence, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty of care owed to the defendant, and that the defendant then breached that duty of care. The plaintiff must also prove that he or she suffered harm and that the harm was directly caused by the breach of the duty to care.
In the context of a breast implant lawsuit, the physician will almost always owe a duty of care to the patient. The standard for this duty of care will generally be the standards held for a surgeon of similar experience, background, and training. The breach of the duty can take many forms, including:
- Failing to follow proper cleanliness and sanitation procedures;
- Failure to remove sponges, bandages, or other items from the patient’s body after the procedure;
- Medication or anaesthesia errors (can lead to various other health issues or injuries);
- Errors regarding the type or size of implant materials involved; and/or
- Errors regarding follow-up treatments and procedures.
In these types of lawsuits, the breach of duty must be the direct cause of the person’s injuries. The breach must also result in direct, measurable damages to the plaintiff. The damages can include losses associated with additional treatments, lost wages (when recovering from surgery), pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and other similar economic costs to the injured party.
In some breast implant injury cases, the cause of the injury might not actually be the physician or surgeon, but rather the manufacturer or producer of the implant or implant materials. In such cases, the manufacturer might be found liable under product liability or defective product theories. These can be based on sub-categories, such as:
- Warning Defects: There was some error or shortcoming with the health and safety warning associated with the implant product.
- Manufacturing Defects: There was a defect in the way the product was assembled or put together. For instance, if a breast implant was contaminated with toxins during the assembly process.
- Design Defect: There was something wrong with the way the implant was designed. An example of this is where the implant is designed in such a way that makes it more prone to leaking.
Thus, the manufacturer of such products can sometimes be found liable. On the other hand, if a doctor, physician, surgeon, or other medical professional knows that a product is dangerous or has been subject to a recall, yet continues to use that product for the surgery, they might be found liable for malpractice.
Breast implant surgery should not lead to injuries. If you were injured, you may want to talk to a local personal injury attorney. Your attorney can provide you with the advice, guidance, and legal representation that is needed to succeed in a lawsuit.