Cosmetic surgery is elective surgery which aims to improve one’s aesthetic appearance. Unfortunately, this is an area of medicine which lacks any proper regulation in Ireland. As a result of this, medical practitioners are performing complicated surgical procedures for which they lack the requisite experience, expertise and skill and this is giving rise to significant postoperative complications for patients. In many cases the post-surgical aftercare of routine complication is substandard.
Simple and seemingly straightforward procedures can result in significant problems for people if they are performed negligently. Some of the consequences for patients can include nerve injury, scarring, skin loss, infection, and psychological harm. It can be the case that a patient is unhappy with the outcome of a cosmetic procedure, but this does not mean the surgery was performed negligently.
As with all procedures, cosmetic surgeons are required to obtain a patient’s informed consent in advance of performing the procedure. This means that they are required to advise the patient of all the risks and possible complications that are associated with the intended procedure before allowing the patient to undergo the operation. Failure to fully inform a patient and to get an informed consent can result in a claim for medical negligence if the procedure has been negligently performed.