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 Can I Sue for “Botched” Plastic Surgery In Arizona?

Published on April 7, 2022

While it is possible to sue for “botched” plastic surgery, you may only do so when a failed procedure is the result of negligence on the part of the surgeon or their medical staff.  In the case of cosmetic surgery, which is an elective procedure, aesthetically displeasing results rarely qualify.  

Types of Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is classified as either reconstructive or cosmetic surgery.  Reconstructive plastic surgery is generally used to restore normal function and appearance and correct deformities caused by trauma, medical conditions, or congenital disabilities.  Reconstructive surgeries are deemed medically necessary.

Cosmetic plastic surgery differs in that it is an elective surgery with the goal of enhancing one’s appearance.  Cosmetic surgeries include, but are not limited to:

  • Facelifts;
  • Rhinoplasty;
  • Liposuction; and 
  • Breast augmentation.  

Although not deemed medically necessary, patients have the same right to receive competent surgical treatment and follow-up care when undergoing cosmetic surgery as with reconstructive surgery.  However, there are some adverse reactions and effects following any plastic surgery that do not classify as negligence on behalf of the medical team.  

When is Failed Plastic Surgery Medical Malpractice? 

Failed plastic surgery is medical malpractice when a physician, medical professional, or medical facility causes, by way of a negligent act or omission, a patient’s injury.  

Medical malpractice can occur as a result of one or several issues during plastic surgery, including:

  • Pre-operative or surgical errors.  The surgeon or staff could administer the wrong anesthesia or the wrong amount of anesthesia, perform incorrect operational procedures, leave instruments inside the body, or operate on an unintended part of the body;
  • Lack of training or experience on the part of the plastic surgeon or staff;
  • Failure to obtain informed consent from the patient.  The surgeon must explain the risks involved with the surgery and obtain written acceptance and acknowledgment of these risks from the patient; and
  • Failure to obtain and review a patient’s complete medical history.  The surgeon should review the patient’s allergies, current medications, and past medical issues and complications before any procedure.

Identifying the cause of injury is only the first of many complex steps involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

Signs of “Botched” Plastic Surgery

There are some common signs and symptoms following botched plastic surgery procedures.  These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Post-operative infections;
  • Damage or destruction of nerves, tissues, or skin;
  • Blood clots;
  • Excessive bleeding;
  • Allergic reactions;
  • Scarring;
  • Excessive bruising;
  • Skin discoloration;
  • Paralysis; and
  • Disfigurement.

If you are suffering from any of these and suspect medical malpractice, reach out to an experienced attorney right away.  Arizona has a two-year time limit from the date of injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.  

Discuss Your Concerns with an Experienced Phoenix Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you were the victim of botched plastic surgery, or suspect a surgeon’s negligence caused your adverse surgical reaction, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Knapp & Roberts.  Victims of medical malpractice in Arizona can recover the costs of corrective surgeries, necessary medical care, counseling services, and pain and suffering.

One of our medical malpractice attorneys can meet with you in a confidential setting to discuss your injuries and holding the surgeon, medical team, or facility responsible for the damages they have caused.  Keep future patients safe from harm by contacting Knapp & Roberts today.


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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.