Visitor Question

Botched Tummy Tuck Surgery…

Submitted By: Amanda (Camden, Arkansas)

I recently had a tummy tuck surgery. I personally paid for procedures that I was told I would receive, and right before surgery the Dr changed the plan. He said part of the procedure that I had said I wanted and paid for, which was a Muscle Repair (a normal part of a tummy tuck) he would only do if he got in there and saw that I needed it.

Well it was obvious to everyone I needed it. I have had children, I have been over weight, and I have had a hysterectomy. My abs were not strong and in shape, and he also said just minutes before wheeling me out that my tummy tuck was not considered a cosmetic surgery.

I should have jumped off the table and ran, but the nurse calmed me down and he promised if he got in there and it needed to be done it would be. I paid for it, I knew I needed it, and I was sure it would be done.

Well sure enough, I woke up from surgery and he didn’t do it. Now I’m deformed. The bottom of my stomach is gone and I have a huge muffin top. Do I have a chance of getting something done legally? This seems like clear negligence to me. Thank You.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Amanda,

Medical malpractice is defined as professional negligence by a doctor, where the treatment provided or omitted falls beneath the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient.

Medical malpractice is difficult to prove. You will very seldom find a doctor who will admit to having committed malpractice. To do so would be a blight on the doctor’s record. That might result in losing clients, or having a medical practice adversely affected.

In your case, the determination of whether or not malpractice occurred will be based on whether or not another surgeon, in your area, under the same circumstances, would have taken the same action. If another doctor, after beginning surgery on you, might have decided muscle repair was not necessary, or that it was not medically safe, then you would not have a viable med mal claim.

Moreover, you would have to be able to prove the actions or omissions of your doctor resulted in injuries. It appears the decision of the doctor not to do the muscle repair did not result in an injury.

Rather, the entire matter might very well be a contract dispute. You believed you paid for a certain procedure. You also believe the doctor did not perform that procedure. Therefore the doctor breached the professional services agreement he had with you. As a result, you might want to consider filing a civil lawsuit against him for breach of contract.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 17, 2015

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