Despite being quite often maligned and misrepresented, cosmetic surgery is a very diverse and common area of medicine.

In Ireland, it has grown far more popular and accessible in recent years, with the range of cosmetic procedures available to Irish patients only growing wider.

It can be a divisive subject matter because of the risks involved in cosmetic procedures. For many, cosmetic and plastic surgery can be a hugely important and positive experience.

With that in mind, negligence in the area of cosmetic surgery is a significant topic in Irish law.

Hughes & Associates Solicitors operate out of Dublin and can provide advice and assessments on cases of medical negligence, including incidents involving cosmetic and plastic surgery. Talk to us about your case by emailing info@hughessolicitors.ie or phoning +353 1 891 0020.

Contact Hughes & Associates for help with your Brain Injury Claim

Contact Us Today

What is Cosmetic Surgery Negligence?

When you undergo plastic or cosmetic surgery, you are entitled to expect a certain standard of care.

If the practitioner does not reach that standard, either through error or professional incompetence, and consequentially the procedure does not go to plan, you may be entitled to claim compensation for cosmetic surgery negligence.

As with other forms of medical negligence, in order to establish a legal case, it must be proven that the actions of the healthcare professional had a direct impact on the patient’s condition.

This means that if a cosmetic surgeon were to make a mistake but there were no resulting negative consequences, it would be difficult to prove cosmetic surgery negligence.

Cosmetic Surgery vs Plastic Surgery

There is a difference between cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is generally necessary and restorative – it is usually in the aftermath of an accident or injury and serves to recover physical function and appearance.

Cosmetic surgery aims to help people who are uncomfortable with some part of their appearance. It consists of operations that change the way someone looks in order to make them happier with their own image.

What is Cosmetic Surgery Negligence?

When you undergo plastic or cosmetic surgery, you are entitled to expect a certain standard of care.

If the practitioner does not reach that standard, either through error or professional incompetence, and consequentially the procedure does not go to plan, you may be entitled to claim compensation for cosmetic surgery negligence.

As with other forms of medical negligence, in order to establish a legal case, it must be proven that the actions of the healthcare professional had a direct impact on the patient’s condition.

This means that if a cosmetic surgeon were to make a mistake but there were no resulting negative consequences, it would be difficult to prove cosmetic surgery negligence.

Types of Complications That Can Arise from Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgeries all carry their own individual risks. Some of the complications that can arise from improper procedures include:

  • Unnecessary scarring as a result of skin breakdown.
  • Issues following anaesthesia, including blood clots, pneumonia and occasionally death.
  • Infections arising from incisions, potentially leading to scarring and the need for more surgery.
  • Nerve damage that can cause numbness and tingling and may be permanent.
  • A pocket of blood, resembling a bruise, known as hematoma. It mainly occurs following a facelift and can require further surgery in order to drain the blood.
  • Organ damage, sometimes as a result of liposuction which can be traumatic for internal organs.
  • Disappointment or general dissatisfaction with the aesthetic appearance of the treatment.

Types of Cosmetic Surgeries That Can Result in Cosmetic Negligence

Claims for compensation can sometimes come from negligence in:

  • Breast augmentation surgery.
  • Forehead and face lifts.
  • Abdominoplasty or tummy tucks.
  • Rhinoplasty or a nose job.
  • Laser hair removal therapy.
  • Laser eye surgery.
  • Botulinum toxin or Botox.
  • Otoplasty or ear surgery.
  • Cosmetic dental work.
  • Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery.
  • Chin surgery.
  • Wrinkle removal surgery.
  • Liposuction.
  • Hair transplants and replacements.

Plenty of other cosmetic procedures can also be included.

How to Prove Cosmetic Surgery Negligence in Ireland

Proving cosmetic surgery negligence can be difficult, but in cases of medical negligence, the plaintiff’s representation is responsible for establishing certain facts. To form the basis of a claim, you must be able to demonstrate two things:

  • A relationship existed between the surgeon and the patient.
  • The injury or damage suffered was the direct result of the surgeon’s negligence.

When those facts are recognised, a solicitor can proceed with finding a neutral, third-party expert to conduct a medical review.

How Long Does a Cosmetic Surgery Negligence Claim Take?

The Statute of Limitations in Ireland dictates that a victim of medical negligence must file their legal case within two years of them becoming aware of their accident or injury.

Oftentimes, the length of the case itself can depend on the length and severity of the damage the patient suffers.

The full extent and prognosis of the injury should be known before legal proceedings can be resolved.

In general, legal cases vary massively and can be relatively short or drag on for as long as several years.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for Cosmetic Surgery Negligence in Ireland?

Compensation for medical negligence claims in Ireland varies from case to case.

Certain factors regularly influence the amount to which you may be entitled, including the plaintiff’s own contribution to the incident, the extent of the injury, any loss of earnings and all relevant medical history.

Can I Claim Compensation for Cosmetic Surgery Negligence That I Suffered Abroad?

If you underwent cosmetic surgery abroad, and your procedure was not carried out to an acceptable level, it may be possible to file a claim for compensation. It can be tricky to do this through an Irish solicitor, but it is worth getting in touch to see if there are grounds for a legal case.

Plastic and, in particular, cosmetic surgeries abroad have grown more popular amongst Irish citizens in recent years.

In February, the Irish Independent reported on the boom in cosmetic surgeries abroad post-Covid, and on the difficulties some patients have faced in the aftermath of their procedures.

Claiming Cosmetic Surgery Negligence in Ireland

If you suffered an accident or injury as a result of inadequate or incompetent care from a surgeon or medical professional, it may help your chances of a successful compensation claim to contact a solicitor with experience in medical negligence.

At Hughes & Associates Solicitors, we offer vast knowledge in areas of cosmetic and plastic surgery negligence and can assess your case for compensation with care and attention to detail.

Based in Dublin and serving Irish claimants, we are available for enquiries via email at info@hughessolicitors.ie or by phoning us on +353 1 891 0020.

Contact the Hughes & Associates Team