Breast implant surgery, also known as breast augmentation, is a cosmetic surgery in which an implant is placed beneath the breast tissue or chest muscle to enhance the size, shape, and symmetry of the breasts. Breast implants can be made of silicone or saline and come in various shapes and sizes.
While breast implant surgery is generally considered safe, there have been cases of malpractice and negligence resulting in serious complications and injuries. Breast implant malpractice negligence lawsuits can arise when a surgeon fails to properly inform their patient of the risks and benefits of the procedure, fails to adequately perform the surgery, or uses defective or substandard implants.
Negligence in breast implant surgery can result in a range of complications, including infection, implant rupture or leakage, scarring, loss of sensation, asymmetry, and even life-threatening illnesses such as breast cancer.
For these reasons, patients should carefully research and choose a qualified and experienced surgeon who uses high-quality implants and follows appropriate safety protocols to minimize the risk of complications.
What Are Some Common Risks Associated with Breast Implant Surgery?
Breast implant surgery is generally considered safe, but like any surgical procedure, it carries some risks. Some of the common risks associated with breast implant surgery include:
- Infection: Infection can occur if bacteria enter the surgical site, which may result in implant removal and antibiotic treatment.
- Capsular contracture: The body forms a capsule of scar tissue around the implant, which can cause hardening, discomfort, and distortion of the breast.
- Implant rupture or leakage: Implants can rupture or leak, requiring additional surgery to remove and replace the implant.
- Hematoma or seroma: Blood or fluid can build up in the surgical site, which may require draining or additional surgery.
- Changes in sensation: Numbness, tingling, or changes in sensation in the breast or nipple may occur.
- Scarring: Scarring can also occur around the incision site or implant.
The risks may be more significant in cases of breast augmentation malpractice or breast enlargement negligence. For example, a surgeon who fails to properly inform the patient of the risks and benefits of the procedure or who fails to adequately perform the surgery may increase the risk of the complications mentioned above.
How Does Malpractice Apply in a Breast Implant Lawsuit?
In a breast implant lawsuit, malpractice may apply when a surgeon breaches their duty of care to the patient. This duty of care is the obligation of the surgeon to provide a high standard of care to the patient based on their training and experience. If the surgeon fails to meet this standard of care, resulting in injury or harm to the patient, the patient may have grounds for a malpractice lawsuit.
For example, a surgeon who fails to properly screen a patient for potential medical issues or who uses defective or substandard implants may be found to have breached their duty of care. The patient may then be able to seek compensation for damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What Is Needed to Prove Breast Implant Negligence?
To prove breast implant negligence, a plaintiff must establish the following elements of malpractice:
- The surgeon had a duty to provide a certain standard of care to the patient
- The surgeon breached that duty of care by failing to meet the required standard of care
- The breach of duty caused the patient’s injury or harm
- The patient suffered damages as a result of the injury or harm
In a breast implant negligence case, proving the first two elements involves showing that the surgeon did not provide the patient with the information and care necessary to make an informed decision about the surgery. Proving these elements may include showing that the surgeon did not discuss the risks and benefits of the surgery or did not take reasonable steps to minimize the risk of complications during the surgery.
What If Defective Materials Caused the Implant Injury?
If the injury was caused by defective materials used in the breast implant surgery, the patient might also have a claim against the implant manufacturer. In such cases, the patient needs to show that the implant was defectively designed or manufactured and that the defect caused the patient’s injury.
Alongside manufacturer liability, other causes of action may include breach of warranty, strict liability, and fraud. These claims may be brought against the manufacturer, the surgeon, or both, depending on the case.
Consult with an experienced attorney who can assess your case’s facts and guide you on the most appropriate causes of action and legal strategies.
Are There Any Defenses Available in a Breast Implant Injury Lawsuit?
Yes, there are a few different defenses that may be raised in a breast implant injury lawsuit. These defenses may include:
- Informed consent: A defendant may argue that the patient was informed of the risks associated with the surgery and that they consented to the procedure despite these risks.
- Statute of limitations: Each state has a statute of limitations, which sets a time limit for bringing a lawsuit. If the plaintiff fails to file their lawsuit within the required timeframe, the defendant can argue that the claim is time-barred.
- Contributory or comparative negligence: The defendant may argue that the plaintiff was partially or wholly responsible for their injuries, either by failing to follow the surgeon’s post-operative instructions or engaging in activities that increased the risk of complications.
- Medical necessity: In some cases, the defendant may argue that the surgery was medically necessary to address a specific health condition, such as breast cancer.
- Assumption of risk: The defendant may argue that the plaintiff knew or should have known the risks associated with the surgery and assumed the risk by undergoing the procedure.
The availability and applicability of these defenses depend on the specific facts of your case and the laws of the jurisdiction in which the lawsuit is filed. An experienced attorney can help you assess the strength of these defenses and develop strategies to overcome them.
Should I Contact an Attorney about a Breast Implant Malpractice Lawsuit?
If you’ve been injured as a result of breast implant surgery, we highly recommend you contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in medical malpractice cases. An experienced attorney can help you determine if you have a case and, if so, help you pursue legal action against the responsible parties.
A personal injury attorney can help walk you through the legal process, assess the strength of your case, identify potential causes of action, and develop a legal strategy to help you get the compensation you deserve. A lawyer can also negotiate with insurance companies and other parties on your behalf and represent you in court if necessary.
Breast implant malpractice cases can be complex and time-consuming, so it is important to work with a qualified attorney who has the knowledge and experience to handle these types of cases.
If you’re considering filing a lawsuit for breast implant malpractice, don’t wait to take action. LegalMatch can help you find a personal injury lawyer specializing in breast implant malpractice cases free of charge. Use our service to help you find the right lawyer today.
Contact a personal injury lawyer to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options.