Rhinoplasty is a type of plastic surgery procedure performed on an individual’s nose. Commonly called a “nose job,” the surgery changes the form, function, shape, or size of the nose.
This type of procedure is often performed for cosmetic reasons, although it can have some functional applications as well in some cases. When performed incorrectly or negligently, it can harm the person mentally, physically and emotionally.
Rhinoplasty malpractice occurs when a surgeon treats a patient in a way that deviates from the appropriate medical standard care.
As a result of the substandard care, the patient is harmed. The medical standard care is the level of care a reasonably competent surgeon would give in the same or similar situation. The term “reasonably competent” means a surgeon with the similar or same training as the surgeon who performed the rhinoplasty.
To prove rhinoplasty malpractice occurred, a plaintiff must generally prove the following elements:
- The surgeon had a duty to the plaintiff, which involved the medical standard of care (for instance, a duty to follow proper surgery protocol and cleanliness procedures)
- The surgeon breached, or violated, the medical standard of care.
- The surgeon was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The surgeon’s harm resulted in financial, physical, or psychological harm.
It is vital to prove the surgeon actually harmed the plaintiff. Sometimes, a surgeon may not provide medical standard care, but not injure a plaintiff. If the last element is proven, the plaintiff can receive economic and non-economic damages.
Breach of duty can be proven in many ways in a medical malpractice claim. For instance, it can be supported through evidence such as:
- Patient medical records
- Written statements from witnesses or observers
- Photos or videos of the surgery and its effects on the patient
- Various other sources
In some cases, expert testimony may be needed in order to provide further information. The expert witness typically should have the same or similar medical training as the defendant, and, thus be able to speak with authority as to what the defendant should have or should not have done.
Certain injuries are common in surgery malpractice cases. The following injuries are associated with a botched nose job:
- Difficulty breathing through the nose after the surgery
- Step deformity
- Bossa formation
- Nasal stenosis
- Septal perforation
- Nerve damage
- Nasal valve collapse
- Rocker deformity
- Polly beak nasal deformity
- Synechiae formation
These types of conditions may require additional medical procedures or surgeries. A malpractice lawsuit may provide compensation for medical bills, additional treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
All rhinoplasty procedures involve some level of risk. However, when an individual suffers harm caused by the procedure, it may be time to talk to a personal injury lawyer. You may need to hire a lawyer in your area if you need help with a rhinoplasty malpractice case. Your attorney can provide guidance and advice for your suit.