Issue: October 2017
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Liposuction: The Skinny on Malpractice Liability

Introduction

Liposuction Risks and Liabilities

Liposuction is among the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures performed. About 222,051 liposuctions occurred in 2015, which was second only to breast augmentation at 279,143 procedures.

 

Risks and potential complications can accompany the elective procedure of liposuction. These include risks related to anesthesia and infection, as well as the risks of deep vein thrombosis and cardiac and pulmonary complications. Because of these risks and complications, injuries can result in connection with liposuction, which can include claims that a physician was negligent or failed to adequately disclose the risks to the patient. Awards to patients can be high.

 

Attorneys, physicians, insurers, employers, and other potential parties to litigation need to understand the types of lawsuits and other liability issues that may arise in connection with liposuction surgery.


The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy

Attorneys:

What proof is needed for a claim of medical battery related to liposuction? And, what is a potential strategy for the attorney to employ?

Physicians:

How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for a liposuction injury? And, what is a potential strategy for the physician to employ?

Insurers:

Can a payout under a medical malpractice liability policy be avoided by proof that the health provider was not negligent or there was no coverage for the patient’s liposuction injury? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ?

Employers:

Can an employer be subject to liability for an employee’s liposuction treatment? And, what is a potential strategy for the employer to use?


Practice the Technique: Checklists

Attorneys:

Check this list of facts and circumstances tending to show a provider’s liability for malpractice for a liposuction injury.

Physicians:

Presented is a checklist of items a physician must consider when defending against claims of malpractice involving a liposuction injury.

Insurers:

The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of malpractice for a liposuction injury.

Employers:

Use this checklist to determine if the employee’s injury related to liposuction is “work related” and occurred “in the course of the employment.”

Expert Analysis

How Does Minimally Invasive Liposuction Differ from Other Liposuction Procedures?

Ryan Neinstein, MD

How Is Infection Prevention in Liposuction Surgery Enforced?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Litigation

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration or mediation may be required by contract or statute, may be mandated by the court or, in some circumstances, may be the appropriate method for a negotiated resolution.


Reasons to Reach Settlement

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to reach settlement, and not take the action to trial.


Reasons to Go to Trial

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to take the action to trial.


Jury Awards and Settlements

How much have juries awarded and what settlements have been reached recently in cases involving liposuction, liposculpture, lipoplasty, or suction-assisted lipectomy?



Medical Examples

Liposuction

This section provides detailed medical information on liposuction, alternatives to liposuction, patient selection criteria, considerations for technique selection, types of liposuction, limitations of liposuction fat removal, preparation before liposuction surgery, the liposuction procedure, postoperative, and results. This section also discusses the patient’s ability to work.



Law and Medicine Resources

Law and Medicine Resources

Provided is a listing of law and medical resources for further information on liposuction.


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Liposuction: The Skinny on Malpractice Liability

Table of Contents
Introduction

Expert Analysis
   Ryan Neinstein, MD
   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy
   Attorneys
   Physicians and Health Providers
   Insurers
   Employers and Risk Managers

Practice the Technique: Checklists
   Attorney Checklist
   Physician Checklist
   Insurer Checklist
   Employer Checklist

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Reasons to Reach Settlement

Reasons to Go to Trial

Jury Awards and Settlements

Liposuction

Law and Medicine Resources