A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty as it is also known, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that aims to remove sagging skin and excess fat from the lower abdomen. In the UK, tummy tucks are becoming increasingly popular and in most cases, the patients are pleased with the results. However, in some cases, there may be instances where the surgery does not go as planned, leaving the patient with less-than-desirable results and sometimes unwell.
Importantly, all types of surgery carry an element of risk, but if something goes wrong due to the surgeon’s or clinic’s error or negligence, you may be eligible to make a claim a tummy tuck negligence claim for compensation.
To find out more about claiming for a tummy tuck gone wrong, please continue reading. However, if you’d like to discuss a claim right away, please call 0800 6524 881 and we’ll be happy to help.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make a Tummy Tuck Negligence Claim?
- Common Types Of Tummy Tuck Procedures
- What Are The Risks Of A Tummy Tuck?
- Signs Of Tummy Tuck Negligence
- How Much Compensation For A Tummy Tuck Gone Wrong?
- Evidence To Support A Tummy Tuck Negligence Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Tummy Tuck Compensation
- Starting The Tummy Tuck Negligence Claims Process
All 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’ well-being 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, cosmetic surgeons are also required to inform you about the potential complications of undergoing an abdominoplasty.
Our team of medical negligence solicitors will always try to assist with claims that have a good chance of success. Therefore, if you contact our advisors to see if your tummy tuck negligence claim qualifies as a viable case, they’ll attempt to ascertain whether:
- The level of care given fell below the reasonable expectations of a medical professional (breach of duty or negligence).
- You sustained injuries or became ill as a direct result of the negligence (causation).
Both criteria have to be met before you’ll be able to successfully secure compensation. For example, if a surgeon makes a mistake, you wouldn’t be able to make a claim if you had not suffered any adverse effects from their mistake. Similarly, if your injuries were unavoidable, you would not be able to make a claim for medical negligence.
If you are unsure of your eligibility to make a tummy tuck compensation claim, please contact us today for free advice.
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 potentially make a tummy tuck compensation claim.
The three main types of tummy tucks are:
An extended abdominoplasty is the most invasive tummy tuck procedure and 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.
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 is the least invasive of the three tummy tuck procedures. It may be carried out under general or local anaesthesia 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.
Undergoing any type of surgery will expose you to various risks regardless of how careful a surgeon and the surgical team are when performing the procedure. However, some risks are avoidable.
The risks of a tummy tuck can include:
- Scarring. Although some level of scarring may be expected as part of the healing process after a tummy tuck, excessive scarring can sometimes occur.
- Tingling or numbness of the skin. Although usually temporary, in more serious cases these symptoms can be permanent.
- Asymmetry. The surgeon may have to revise the surgery if the results are not symmetric.
- Unsatisfied results. Sometimes the results may not be as expected and disappointing. The surgeon may need to do further surgery to reach the desired result.
- Excess fluids. The accumulation of fluid in the surgical site.
- Blood clots. The formation of a blood clot under the skin (haematoma).
- Infection. This may occur at the site of the incision and may need antibiotics to treat it, or even further surgery.
- Bleeding. Some bleeding is normal after a surgical procedure, but excessive bleeding can be problematic and dangerous.
- Allergic reaction to anaesthesia. As with any surgery that requires anaesthesia, there is a risk of complications related to the anaesthesia itself, including allergic reactions and breathing difficulties.
It’s important that you discuss with the surgeon any concerns you may have regarding the surgery, and ask about the potential risks involved before going ahead with the procedure.
After a tummy tuck procedure, the final results should be 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:
- Excessive scarring.
- Excess skin around scarring.
- Persistent pain in the abdominal area.
- Nerve damage.
- Incorrect positioning of the belly button.
- Loss of belly button.
- Poor cosmetic results.
- Injury to surrounding organs.
- Removal of too much skin.
- Perforated bowel.
Experiencing any of the above could cause long-lasting physical and psychological damage.
Compensation claim settlements are typically made up of two types of damages; general damages which refer to the physical and emotional effects of the injury, and special damages which refer to monetary losses and expenses. Factors that may be considered when determining the final settlement amount for a tummy tuck gone wrong might include:
- The severity of the injury and the type and length of treatment required.
- The psychological effects of the negligence from the botched abdominoplasty.
- Any loss of amenity.
- Your future prognosis.
- Medical expenses – May include treatment costs, prescription costs and therapy costs for example.
- Travel expenses – Costs of travelling to and from medical or treatment appointments related to your injury.
- Care costs – If you needed care or help around the home whilst you recovered from your injury, these costs may be considered.
- Loss of earnings – Loss of income, future loss of income or missed promotions or bonuses that are resultant from your injury.
If you are still unsure as to what you can include in your tummy tuck negligence claim, please speak to a medical negligence solicitor on our team for further advice.
For a tummy tuck negligence claim to be successful, you must be able to back it up with evidence. There are various forms of evidence that will support your claim, giving you a better chance of securing the compensation you deserve, these include:
- Medical reports. Detailed medical records of the botched tummy tuck procedure and any subsequent treatments or complications can be used as evidence.
- Before-and-after photos. Before-and-after photos can provide visual evidence of the results of the tummy tuck and any complications.
- Witnesses. Making a note of witnesses’ contact details means that they could be contacted at a later date if necessary for witness statements.
- Records of financial expenses. Receipts and documentation of any expenses related to your injury including medical bills and lost wages can be used to support a claim for compensation.
Without enough evidence, it is unlikely that your case will succeed. Once you have decided that you want to pursue a compensation claim, you should start to gather as much evidence as you can straight away. This should give you plenty of time to ensure you have covered everything needed to build a strong case. If in doubt, speak to our team for advice.
In the UK, the time limit within which to start a tummy tuck compensation claim is typically 3 years starting either from the date the injury occurred or from the date the injury was formally diagnosed.
Tummy tuck negligence claims, as with many claims involving medical negligence can be complex, so it is important if you decide to claim, to seek legal advice as early as possible to ensure you do not run out of time.
Unless you have plenty of experience in the legal field, making a compensation claim for tummy tuck negligence can be a daunting prospect and therefore, to give your claim the best chance of success, we recommend you appoint a legal representative.
The medical negligence solicitors we have on our panel offer a free consultation where they can assess your circumstances and advise whether or not your claim has a good chance of success. During an initial consultation with a claims advisor, you have the freedom to ask any questions you may have regarding the process of making a claim.
If a solicitor believes you have a potentially strong case, they may offer to pursue your claim on your behalf on a No Win No Fee basis. This essentially means that they will represent you with no upfront costs. If they successfully secure your compensation, a set percentage of the award amount will be deducted as payment. If they are unsuccessful, you’ll pay nothing.
For free advice and to potentially get the tummy tuck negligence claims process started today, please contact us on 0800 6524 881 or use the live chat service provided.