Anytime a person undergoes plastic surgery, there is the risk of complications. Although they can’t always be avoided, there are some situations in which a surgeon’s mistake or negligence causes plastic surgery errors that lead to complications.
Whatever the surgical procedure, there can be the danger of nerve damage, infection and even a botched surgery. But there may be unique complications for certain types of procedures. One is encapsulation stemming from breast implants.
What is encapsulation?
A breast becomes encapsulated when scar tissue surrounding the implant hardens. The pressure can cause the breast to look distorted and/or become very firm, a type of disfigurement that could lead to another surgery in order to correct it, or it may be necessary to remove the implant entirely. Of course, this returns the breast to its original condition.
The problem with corrective surgery is that it can happen again. One potential way to avoid it is by placing the implants in a different area. For instance, the surgeon may place it under the submuscular pocket when it was initially placed under the mammary gland. Even then, there is no guarantee that the firmness won’t be an issue.
Another option is to change the types of implants. If silicone ones were used, saline might be tried, and if saline implants were used, silicone may be tried. However, this requires the surgeon removing all of the old scar tissue.
What are signs and risk factors of encapsulation?
One of the signs that a breast is encapsulated is it may be oddly shaped. The implant might feel too firm, and sometimes there is discomfort or pain.
Risk factors could increase the chance of encapsulation. Some include bacterial infection, hematoma (collection of blood), previous or future radiation therapy, and seroma (fluid that accumulates in the tissue).
What are some of the causes of encapsulation that may indicate medical malpractice?
Recognizing risk factors is critical when a surgical procedure is planned. A qualified surgeon should discuss risk factors and potential complications ahead of time with the patient. Failing to do so could be considered medical negligence.
Another scenario in which encapsulation could indicate malpractice is when a complication arises, such as a bacterial infection, but the surgeon doesn’t address it properly. Or unsterile equipment could have been used when performing the procedure that led to infection.
If the procedure is done incorrectly, it may cause the breast to become encapsulated; incorrect placement or mishandling of the implants may be at fault. Evaluating performance of the procedure could necessitate help from a medical expert to testify regarding the surgeon’s actions.
Do you need legal help if a surgeon’s mistake causes complications?
Many patients assume that by choosing to undergo plastic surgery, there are few options available when something goes wrong. Or a patient might assume it is a natural consequence of the procedure, but that may not always be the case.
To discuss whether surgeon mistakes or oversight might have been the cause or contributing factor of an encapsulated breast or other complication, contact an attorney. Call The Becker Law Firm at (440) 252-4399 to set up a consultation regarding your case involving plastic surgery errors.