Clear Lake Plastic Surgeon Sued in Connection with Breast Augmentation Surgery
In the 1990’s, litigation over defective breast implants was a cottage industry. Literally thousands of such suits were filed, clogging the courts and generating enormous verdicts, settlements and attorneys’ fees. Those days are over, but breast augmentation surgery continues to generate lawsuits.
A prominent Clear Lake-area plastic surgeon has recently been sued, by a former patient, for alleged medical malpractice in connection with her breast implant surgery. The patient claims that she underwent bilateral augmentation mammoplasty at the doctor’s surgery center. Following the procedure she began to suffer pain, chills, swelling and drainage. Her suit claims that she brought her post-op complications to the defendants’ attention on four separate occasions, but that “she never spoke with or was seen by the doctor or anyone who had medical training”.
Eventually she claims to have been seen by a nurse at the surgery center, who immediately referred her to another medical doctor. That doctor then immediately took her to surgery and removed her implants, allegedly due to “an overwhelming infection and abscess”. She claims that the defendants actions constituted both negligence and gross negligence. She requests both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages seek to compensate the victim for her medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish and disfigurement. Punitive damages can be awarded if the doctor is found to have been grossly negligent. They are not meant to compensate the patient, but to punish the doctor. Such damage awards are few and far between.
The doctor has answered the suit and denied the patient’s allegations.
Post-operative infection is a universally known potential post-operative complication. Once the patient leaves the care of the patient, she assumes a duty to follow what post-op wound care instructions the doctor gave her (e.g. changing surgical dressings, taking prescribed antibiotics). This case will very likely focus less on how well the augmentation surgery was performed, and more on whether the defendants were negligent in responding to and treating the infection once she brought it to their attention.