Cosmetic surgery claims

We can deal with most cosmetic surgery claims on a no win no fee basis.

In some instances where plastic surgery fails, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim for medical negligence. If you have suffered an injury or poor outcome because of a mistake made during cosmetic surgery, our specialist surgical negligence solicitors can help.

This could be a mistake made during the cosmetic surgery procedure, while preparing for the procedure or during the aftercare.

No win no fee cosmetic surgery claims

Unfortunately, cosmetic surgery goes wrong sometimes. If a cosmetic surgeon makes a mistake which causes an injury or suffering, the injured person could be entitled to claim compensation. We can deal with most cosmetic surgery claims on a no win no fee basis.

Common types of cosmetic surgery claims include:

  • Breast implant surgery claims (breast augmentation claim)
  • Face and neck lift surgery claims
  • Tummy tuck and liposuction claims
  • Nose job surgery claims (rhinoplasty claim)
  • Breast reduction claims
  • Nose fillers gone wrong
  • Eyelid correction surgery claims (blepharoplasty claim)
  • Brow lift surgery claims
  • Ear surgery claims
  • Laser skin procedure claims (tattoo removal and laser hair removal claims)

How can I prove a cosmetic surgery claim?

Cosmetic surgery negligence claims will need to be investigated thoroughly to be proven. Your surgical negligence solicitor will gather evidence to determine whether the treatment provided by your cosmetic surgeon was negligent. If so, they will then establish what injuries the were caused by the cosmetic surgery and whether you’ve lost out financially because of those injuries.

The following evidence is likely to be needed to prove your cosmetic surgery claim:

  • Witness statements from yourself and anyone else involved
  • Medical records
  • Expert reports from medical professionals
  • Evidence of your financial losses (such as receipts, invoices and payslips)

Your surgical negligence solicitor will collate all the necessary evidence on your behalf to support your cosmetic surgery claim.

How long do I have to make a cosmetic surgery claim?

In the UK, there is a strict time limit of three years to make a cosmetic surgery claim. This time limit starts from the date of the cosmetic surgery negligence or from the date you knew your injury was linked to the cosmetic surgery.

Three years is not a long time, so if you have suffered cosmetic surgery negligence, speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible.

How long does it take to settle a cosmetic surgery claim?

The time it takes to settle a cosmetic surgery claim depends on how complex the cosmetic surgery claim is, and how serious your injuries are. A more complex or higher value cosmetic surgery claim is likely to take longer to settle. This is because comprehensive evidence will need to be gathered and expert medical assessments may need to be carried out. Also, if the cosmetic surgeon refuses to admit fault this can also mean the claim takes longer to settle, especially if it goes to court.

How much is my cosmetic surgery claim worth?

The value of your cosmetic surgery claim will depend on how serious your injuries are and how seriously these have affected your day to day life. Any financial losses you’ve suffered as a result of the cosmetic surgery will also be taken into account for the value of your cosmetic surgery claim.

Examples of cosmetic surgery claims and compensation amounts

Below are two examples of cosmetic surgery claims and the amount of compensation that was awarded to the individuals.

Negligent performance of liposuction surgery to legs and buttocks resulting in disfigurement

Total compensation: £154,301

The claimant, a successful beauty therapist, underwent an extensive and aggressive liposuction procedure. The liposuction was performed through VASER, a type of procedure which was new at the time and meant to be less invasive.

However, the procedure lasted for several hours, and over 6 litres of fat were extracted. The claimant's legs were asymmetric, uneven, bumpy and mottled.

Even if the disfigurement had not occurred, the procedure used was designed to produce a sculpted and muscled appearance, which the claimant was unhappy with. She had specifically requested a more feminine appearance.

After the surgery, the claimant was hospitalised and needed a blood transfusion, which was a traumatic post-operative period for her.

The unrequested removal of excessive quantities of fat, through high-definition liposuction, cause the claimant pain, suffering and loss of amenity. She is expected to experience further pain and suffering because remedial cosmetic procedures are now needed, including fat transfer and breast reduction (to restore proportion to her figure).

An additional allowance was made for the way the perceived disfigurement had affected the claimant psychologically and impacted the lifestyle she had previously enjoyed, both professionally and personally. The claimant’s sense of femininity, her appearance, and the ability to wear the clothes she likes are all important to her.

Compensation was allowed for the psychological effects of the procedure, including the claimant’s post-traumatic state of mind, adjustment disorder and exacerbation of pre-existing depression.

She was also awarded compensation for loss of congenial employment. She was forced to abandon her role as a fitness instructor because of the cosmetic consequences, and her role in the beauty therapy business diminished.

The total compensation awarded can be largely broken down as follows:

  • pain, suffering and loss of amenity - £25,000
  • psychological suffering - £20,000
  • loss of congenial employment - £5,000
  • general damages - £50,000

Eyelid surgery caused infection, dry-eyes, sensitivity to light, drooping eye lids and scarring

Total compensation: £48,000

In an initial cosmetic surgery consultation, the claimant asked the surgeon about the risks of surgery on her upper and lower eyelids, particularly because she had an existing dry-eye condition. She was not warned about any risks or potential long-term complications.

After the surgery, the corner of one eye became red and swollen and her skin felt hard and lumpy underneath both eyes. An infection developed and when the claimant returned to the surgeon, he had to carry out an urgent procedure to remove glue from under the skin of her lower lids.

Her eyes became so sore and swollen that she was unable to return to work as planned, and her vision was affected to the extent that she couldn’t drive, read or watch television. She sought a second opinion, and it was discovered that the tissue glue had seeped into the skin wound of the lower eyelids and had hardened and become embedded there. She needed further surgery to remove this.

Despite the additional surgery, the claimant suffered long-term problems. She lost more skin from her lower eyelids, which caused them to retract and she lost of some lashes in her lower left eyelid.

The lower lid retraction has also exacerbated her dry-eye condition and she’s been told it’s unlikely her eyes will ever return to their preoperative state. The claimant now has to rely on daily eye lubricants, which she uses up to 12 times per day. She suffers severe sensitivity to light (photophobia) and her dry eyes are worsened by hot and windy weather, smoky environments and bright lights (including sunlight).

She also has scarring on her right lower eyelid, asymmetrical creasing and unnaturally retracted lower eyelids that show the whites of her eyes.

She was diagnosed with moderately severe depression, as a reaction to the surgery, and was prescribed antidepressants for 2 years.

The compensation amount included the costs the claimant paid for the cosmetic surgery, as well as consultancy costs and expenses. She also claimed for future medical expenses, including for the insertion of punctal plugs, which are small medical devices which are inserted into the tear duct to prevent liquid draining from the eye. Other potential revision surgery might be needed to correct her drooping eye lid and to improve the symmetry of her eyes.

The original surgeon admitted that the use of a certain type of glue probably contributed to the exacerbation of the claimant’s dry eyes, her pain and suffering, and the need for revision surgery.

The total compensation awarded can be broken down as follows:

  • general damages - £40,000
  • special damages - £8,000

These cases were not dealt with by Co-op Legal Services, but reported in the Personal Injuries Quantum Database of LexisNexis

About Co-op Legal Services

As part of the largest Co-operative organisation in the UK, Co-op Legal Services works to ensure that our clients receive the best legal advice and support services available from our teams of personal injury and clinical negligence solicitors, legal executives and staff.

We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and several of our Personal Injury Solicitors are members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

Co-op Legal Services has over 600 staff working in different businesses with offices in Manchester, Bristol, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sheffield and London.