A tummy tuck procedure, also known as abdominoplasty, is a type of cosmetic surgery that is carried out to remove loose sagging skin and excess fat from around the lower abdomen. Tummy tucks are fairly common in the UK these days and most of them are carried out successfully. Sometimes however, things can go wrong, leaving less than desirable results. This could happen due to a number of reasons.
If you experienced issues after undergoing an abdominoplasty on the NHS or privately and you believe it was due to the surgeon’s or clinic’s mistake or negligence, you may be eligible to pursue a tummy tuck compensation claim.
Types Of Tummy Tuck Procedures
There are several types of tummy tuck procedures. If any of these procedures go wrong due to negligence of the surgeon or other medical professionals involved in the procedure then this would be a situation where you could make a tummy tuck compensation claim.
The three main types of tummy tucks are:
An Extended Abdominoplasty
An Extended Abdominoplasty is the most invasive tummy tuck procedure. It is performed under general anaesthesia. There are two parts to this procedure. The first involves removing the fat and skin from the lower abdominal area. In the second part of the procedure the surgeon removes tissue from the upper thighs, back and waist to reshape the abdomen. Repositioning the belly button correctly is an important part of the surgery.
A Standard Abdominoplasty
The Standard Abdominoplasty is the most common of all three procedures. It is carried out to create a tauter, slimmer stomach. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. The surgeon will reposition the belly button as part of the procedure.
A Partial or Mini Abdominoplasty
A Partial or Mini Abdominoplasty is the least invasive of the three tummy tuck procedures. It may be carried out under general or local anesthesia and involves simply removing the excess skin and fat from the mid to lower abdominal region. The belly button is not repositioned in this procedure.
Signs Of Tummy Tuck Negligence
After a tummy tuck procedure, the final results should be what you what you and the cosmetic surgeon were aiming to achieve – a firmer, flatter stomach with no pain, excessive scarring or other visible signs of the procedure. Anything out of the ordinary could be construed as signs of tummy tuck negligence and therefore lead to compensation being sought. Signs of negligence in a tummy tuck procedure may include but are not limited to:
- Swelling that does not subside for months;
- Excessive scarring;
- Excess skin around scarring;
- Persistent pain in the abdominal area;
- Nerve damage resulting in numbness or complete loss of sensation;
- Seroma or fluid collection around the wound;
- Puckering or creasing of the skin around the scar line;
- Incorrect positioning of belly button;
- Loss of belly button;
- Deformed skin contouring from insufficient removal of excess tissue;
- Poor cosmetic results;
- Haematoma or bleeding under the skin, which may require further surgery to stop the bleeding and to drain the area;
- Injury to surrounding organs;
- Removal of too much skin;
- Perforated bowel.
Experiencing any of the above could cause long lasting physical and psychological damage.
Do You Have Any Recourse If You Experience Signs Of Tummy Tuck Negligence?
Yes you do. There are laws in place to protect you if something goes wrong during any type of medical procedure including tummy tucks.
According to the law, all clinics and surgeons have a duty of care towards their patients. As part of this legal duty of care, they are required to do everything within reason to ensure their patients’ wellbeing and safety. This includes ensuring that the surgeon performing the tummy tuck surgery has the necessary skills and training, and that all equipment used is properly sterilised before use. As part of their duty of care, the cosmetic surgeon is also required to inform you about the potential complications of undergoing an abdominoplasty.
If the clinic or surgeon do not fulfil this duty of care and you have a negative experience from the tummy tuck surgery, they may be liable to compensate you for any physical and psychological trauma resulting from their negligence.
Before you consider filing a claim for tummy tuck negligence, there are a few things you need to know. An abdominoplasty is a major surgical procedure. Some discomfort, swelling and pain are normal immediately after the surgery. It can take some time for the painful sensations to subside. The exact amount of time it takes will depend on whether you’ve had a standard, extended or partial abdominoplasty as well as your own physiological response to the procedure. However, these symptoms are expected to subside within the projected recovery period of 3 to 4 weeks. If the symptoms show no signs of fading off and persist beyond a reasonable period of time, you may have grounds for filing a tummy tuck claim for compensation.
How To Start A Tummy Tuck Compensation Claim
If you are considering pursuing a tummy tuck negligence compensation claim, the first thing to do is to get in touch with an experienced personal injury solicitor. Most personal injury solicitors offer potential clients a first, obligation-free consultation. Take advantage of this to learn more about your legal right to claim compensation and get a better idea of your chances of success.
Although the law is clear in regards to claiming compensation, regulations within the cosmetic surgery industry are far from consistent. This can make it difficult for a lay person to understand their legal position.
Personal injury solicitors on the other hand are thoroughly conversant with the law and will give you the right advice. If your circumstances do not warrant filing a tummy tuck claim, they will dissuade you from taking any legal action. However, if you have a strong case, most solicitors will not only help you with legal representation but will also offer to fund your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
How A No Win No Fee Agreement Works
A No Win No Fee agreement is a unique type of contract between you and the solicitor/law firm. According to the terms of this contract, you do not pay any fees at any time of the legal process. The solicitor funds your claim entirely while it’s in progress. In the event that your tummy tuck claim is not successful, you are not obligated to reimburse the solicitor’s fees. If your claim is successful and you are awarded compensation, only then do you pay a percentage of the award to the solicitor.
A No Win No Fee agreement offers claimants several benefits. The biggest benefit is that you don’t have to worry about being out of pocket at any time while the claim is in progress as you don’t have to pay any money upfront. Secondly it gives you the time you need to recover from the trauma while knowing that your legal rights are being safeguarded by an experienced personal injury solicitor.
If you have undergone a tummy tuck on the NHS, privately or abroad and think you have a tummy tuck compensation claim, please contact us to arrange a free consultation with one of our expert solicitors and they will be happy to answer any questions and concerns you may have.