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Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

Medical Malpractice and Plastic Surgery

These days it seems plastic surgery is much more commonplace than any time in the past. Whether it is a little Botox to smooth wrinkles or something more serious like liposuction, more and more men and women are looking to go under the knife. Unfortunately, there are doctors out there looking to capitalize on this trend. Did you know that in Georgia, a doctor can perform plastic surgery even if they have not been trained to? This knowledge is scary and essential if you are looking to have some work done.

It's true, in the state of Georgia doctors do not need to have any type of accreditation in that particular field in order to perform surgery. Generally insurances won't cover surgeries by non-accredited doctors, but since plastic surgery is mostly not covered by insurance, it can be harder for patients to realize this. A recent USA Today article explains that many people have already been victims of infections and botched surgeries at the hands of untrained MDs. The article looks at a Texas woman who underwent liposuction and fat transfer surgery at a so called ‘med-spa'. Immediately after the surgery, the woman was brought by a friend to the ER because she was in such bad shape. 32 surgeries were needed to correct the errors made by the med-spa doctor, none of which were covered by her insurance.

To make matters worse, after an investigation by a Texas Medical Board disciplinary panel it was discovered that the med-spa's doctor's only training in liposuction surgery consisted of him reading the instruction manual of the liposuction equipment, completing a 2 week online course and passing an exam and performing one procedure under the supervision of another doctor. The scariest part about this story is that the doctor was not operating outside the law. This was not black market surgery where the patient should have known better, the facility was a clean medical spa and the person performing surgery was a doctor.

Patients who are injured in cases like these not only face disfigurement, amputation, death and paralysis, they are also left with all the medical bills. Complications from plastic surgery is not generally covered by insurance, so any treatment or later surgeries required to fix a bad surgery come straight from the patient's pocket. Your only recourse would be a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or possibly the equipment manufacturer.

Kimberly A. Berry

Kimberly A. Berry, Esq. is a Dean's Scholar Vanderbilt University law school graduate. She has served as lead counsel in over 100 trials and motions. Ms. Berry is dedicated to fighting hard for her clients.


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