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Fatal Plastic Surgeon Error Raises Certification Questions

Each Chicago medical malpractice attorney at our firm has worked on cases that tug at the heartstrings. Some of the most tragic are those involving patients that go in for elective surgery-something that is not medically necessary-and end up permanently scarred, or worse. That appears to be what happened in a case that took the life of a mother of three. The 39-year old woman went in to a clinic near her home for breast implant surgery-she would die the very next day.

According to a comprehensive story on the case in the Milford Daily News, the mother visited this particularly facility to have implants likely because it offered lower rates than other nearby providers. In addition, this particular clinic was popular among many of her friends who, like her, had emigrated to the U.S. from Brazil. At first it seemed like the procedure went well. The woman left the clinic and was sent home after the operation. However, it wasn’t long before her family knew that something was wrong. The day after the surgery her family called 911 after she fell in her house. When emergency responders arrived, they found the woman in the bathroom, unconscious, with irregular breathing and a very weak pulse. They did everything they could to save her, but she was pronounced dead shortly after she arrived at a nearby medical clinic. The family was devastated by the loss and is in the middle of preparing to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the involved facility.

A few weeks after the death a medical examiner ruled that the woman’s death was the result of “therapeutic complications” from the breast implant surgery. A blood clot was found, and it apparently broke off and traveled to the victim’s lungs as an embolism. It remains unclear exactly how the surgery may have led to this problems. There is a risk that the implant may press up against a vein which could lead to this sort of accident. Surgeons are required to make sure that the implants are positioned to avoid this possibility. Failing to do otherwise is likely medical malpractice.

This particular tragedy is leading those in the area to make renewed warnings about the dangers of doctors performing these operations that are not board-certified. As our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers have explained in previous posts, the experience level of many plastic surgeons can vary wildly. Some states do not require much extra training, and so doctors with little familiarity with these procedures are allowed to switch practice areas and take these cases as a way to increase revenue. However, with less experience and more cost-cutting efforts, the risk of harm to the patient increases.

As always it is absolutely vital that patients learn about the experience level and training of those doing the surgery. As medical experts in the area have warned, there is a big difference between doctors who are performing plastic surgery. The best surgeons are always the ones who are actually licensed by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. As one doctor explained, “I don’t think the public knows the difference [between the different types of certification], and that’s very dangerous.”

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Medical Malpractice Occurs All Too Frequently in Cosmetic Surgery

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