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There are an estimated 100 billion nerve cells throughout the human body. And with so many nerves, the potential for nerve damage is present in just about any surgical procedure, including plastic surgery.
While plastic surgery can create numbness and/or tingling afterwards and most patients experience some difference in sensitivity following surgery, what about more serious cases where pain or numbness seems never ending? If you suffered permanent nerve damage following plastic surgery, can you sue?
Touched a Nerve
Nerve damage is a risk with any surgery. A nerve injury can occur if nerves are stretched, cut, or cauterized, and effects can range from sensory nerve deficits like numbness or tingling, to severe motor nerve deficits such as weakness or even muscle paralysis. These effects can become permanent if a nerve is sufficiently damaged.
Because so many plastic surgeries involve facial enhancements or corrections, the risk and fear surrounding nerve damage is even more pronounced. Facelift patients could suffer from numbness, loss of motion, or dropping of facial features from cheek, forehead, or neck lift procedures. And some eyelid lifts have resulted in optic nerve damage or blindness.
So what if this happens to you? If you've experienced nerve damage after your plastic surgery, you may have a medical malpractice claim against your surgeon, your surgeon's staff, or the hospital or clinic where your procedure was performed. Proving fault in medical malpractice cases can be complicated, but it generally boils down to demonstrating the medical professionals in charge of your care were negligent.
Doctors are held to a certain standard of proficiency and professionalism. And when a medical professional fails to meet this standard of care, and it results in an injury to the patient, the medical professional or her employer could be liable for damages. If your plastic surgeon cut to0 close to or severed a nerve during the surgery, if someone on her staff was careless in cleaning or cauterizing an incision, or if the surgery facility was ill-equipped to handle your procedure, you may have a valid claim.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can involve highly technical information as well as nuanced standards of law, and some states treat medical malpractice cases differently than normal injury suits. So before you sue your plastic surgeon, you'll want to consult an experienced injury attorney near you.