Yes, you can sue for injury caused by reconstructive surgery malpractice if you can establish that the medical professional treating you breached the standard of care and that this breach caused your injuries.
To understand your rights and the process, you’ll need to explore the concept of reconstructive surgery, differentiate it from cosmetic surgery, and learn about medical malpractice and the necessary proof for a successful claim.
What Is Reconstructive Surgery?
Reconstructive surgery is a type of medical procedure aimed at restoring function and normal appearance to a body part affected by injury, illness, or congenital abnormalities. This surgery can help patients regain their quality of life, alleviate pain or discomfort, and improve their overall well-being.
Reconstructive surgery is typically performed by plastic surgeons with specialized training in this area. These surgeons work closely with other medical professionals, such as oncologists, orthopedic surgeons, and dermatologists, to provide comprehensive patient care.
What Are Some Examples of Reconstructive Surgery?
Some examples of reconstructive surgery include:
- Burn repair surgery
- Cleft lip and palate repair
- Hand surgery to restore function
- Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy
- Scar revision surgery
- Tissue expansion
- Microsurgery to restore damaged tissue or nerves
- Craniofacial surgery to address congenital abnormalities
Is Reconstruction Surgery the Same as Cosmetic Surgery?
Reconstructive surgery is not the same as cosmetic surgery. While both types of surgeries aim to improve a patient’s appearance, reconstructive surgery primarily focuses on restoring function and normal appearance following injury, illness, or congenital abnormalities. Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, is elective and performed on healthy individuals seeking to enhance their appearance.
However, reconstructive surgery may include cosmetic procedures, such as breast implants following a chest injury or a mastectomy. The primary goal is to restore the patient’s normal appearance and alleviate any emotional or psychological distress associated with the injury or loss of a body part.
Can I Undergo Reconstructive Surgery for Repetitive Motion Injuries?
Reconstructive surgery can be performed for repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, or tendonitis. These procedures aim to alleviate pain, restore function, and prevent further damage to the affected area. However, surgery is typically considered only after non-surgical treatment options have been exhausted.
The goal of reconstructive surgery for repetitive motion injuries is to relieve pain, restore function, and prevent further damage to the affected area. The specific surgical technique used will depend on the type and severity of the injury.
Some examples of reconstructive surgery for repetitive motion injuries include:
- Carpal tunnel release: This procedure involves cutting the transverse carpal ligament, which relieves pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, thereby reducing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Cubital tunnel release: This surgery involves decompressing the ulnar nerve at the elbow by either releasing the ligament that covers the nerve or repositioning the nerve to a location with less pressure.
- Tendon repair: Repetitive motion injuries can lead to tendonitis, which is an inflammation of the tendons. If conservative treatments, such as rest and physical therapy, fail to alleviate symptoms, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair the damaged tendon.
Can Medical Malpractice Occur with Reconstructive Surgery?
Medical malpractice can occur with reconstructive surgery if the medical professional treating you breaches the standard of care that a reasonably skilled and competent professional in the same specialty would provide under similar circumstances. This breach can result from errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management.
What Must I Prove to Win a Reconstructive Surgery Medical Malpractice Claim?
To win a reconstructive surgery medical malpractice claim, you must prove the following elements:
- Duty of care: The medical professional owed you a duty of care by agreeing to treat you.
- Breach of duty: The medical professional breached this duty by failing to meet the standard of care expected of a reasonably skilled professional in their specialty.
- Causation: The breach directly caused your injury or harm.
- Damages: You suffered damages, including physical, emotional, or financial, as a result of the injury.
To prove these elements, you may need to provide medical records, expert testimony, and other evidence demonstrating the medical professional’s negligence and the resulting harm.
Challenges You May Face in Proving Reconstructive Surgery Malpractice
Proving reconstructive surgery malpractice can be challenging, as these cases are often complex and difficult to prove in court. To succeed in your case, you will need expert witnesses who can attest to the surgeon’s failure to meet the standard of care and extensive medical records and reports of the surgery.
However, there are several challenges you may face when pursuing a reconstructive surgery malpractice claim:
- Cosmetic Surgery Bias: Since plastic surgery is a form of cosmetic surgery, it may be viewed as less necessary for the health or survival of the patient. As a result, the courts may be more likely to side with the cosmetic surgeon in cases of surgeries gone wrong.
- Lower Compensation: Even if you do win your case, the award amount may be significantly lower than in other surgical malpractice cases. This is because elective surgeries are often viewed as less serious than necessary surgeries, and the jurors may believe that the victim does not require a large amount of compensation.
- Difficulty Proving Negligence: Proving negligence in reconstructive surgery malpractice cases can be challenging, as the defendant may argue that the cause of your injuries was something unpreventable or not due to negligence. This is where expert witnesses and detailed medical records can be essential in establishing the surgeon’s liability.
- Emotional and Physical Distress: The aftermath of reconstructive surgery malpractice can be emotionally and physically distressing for the victim. It can be challenging to navigate through the legal system while dealing with pain, emotional distress, and medical bills.
Navigating these challenges can be overwhelming, but having an experienced attorney on your side can help you overcome these obstacles and achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
Should I Talk to an Attorney about My Reconstructive Surgery Injury?
If you believe you have been injured due to reconstructive surgery malpractice, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. A skilled lawyer can help you assess the merits of your case, gather the necessary evidence, and guide you through the complex legal process.
LegalMatch’s legal matching services can connect you with experienced attorneys who specialize in medical malpractice cases related to reconstructive surgery. If you believe that you have been a victim of reconstructive surgery malpractice, LegalMatch can help you find an attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you pursue compensation for your injuries.
If you have suffered an injury due to reconstructive surgery malpractice, a lawyer can help you gather evidence, file a lawsuit, and negotiate a settlement or represent you in court.
LegalMatch’s attorney matching service can help you find a qualified attorney who has experience handling medical malpractice cases related to reconstructive surgery in your area. By having an experienced attorney on your side, you can increase your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries and holding the responsible parties accountable.
Don’t wait any longer. Find the right attorney for your reconstructive surgery case by using LegalMatch’s attorney-client matching service today and start putting your legal worries to bed.