Cosmetic Surgery Claims

When cosmetic surgery goes wrong: pursuing a clinical negligence claim
While thorough consideration and research can reduce the risks, there is unfortunately still the potential for things to go wrong. When a patient suffers negligent care during a cosmetic procedure it can be difficult to apportion blame.

In most clinical negligence cases, we would support our clients to make a claim against a hospital or healthcare trust. However, the situation is often more complex with cosmetic surgery cases. That is because many of these treatments are carried out by private surgeons who have simply rented the space from a private hospital. In these instances, the surgeon has no supervision from the hospital and the healthcare provider will generally deny any responsibility for private surgeons’ mistakes or negligence. You will need the advice of a very experienced clinical negligence solicitor to pursue compensation on your behalf.

If you are considering cosmetic surgery, it is important to be aware of these complexities around private hospital insurance, as well as doing all you can to reduce the risks of undergoing a surgical procedure.

How can we help?

What is Cosmetic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery embodies a range of invasive and non-invasive procedures, which aim to improve the overall aesthetic appearance of an individual.

  • Invasive procedures – These typically include techniques which break the skin, such as face, brow and body lifts, as well as other surgeries like breast augmentations. These procedures often have a permanent result and are incredibly difficult to reverse.
  • Non-invasive procedures – Include beauty treatments such as Botox, dermal fillers, vein treatment, chemical peels, teeth whitening and hair removal treatments. These procedures are often temporary, perhaps lasting between six and twelve months, and in some cases – such as dermal fillers – can be reversed. Many people opt for these treatments as they often involve fewer complications and scarring, in addition to benefitting from reduced recovery times and costs.

What are the most common kinds of Cosmetic Surgery?

Recent statists suggest that there is a huge growth in people undergoing non-invasive cosmetic procedures compared to those which are more invasive. Below are some of the most common types of each, alongside a further breakdown of what they are:


  • Facelifts – A facelift (rhytidectomy) is a surgical cosmetic procedure to lift and pull back the skin to create a smoother and tighter appearance.
  • Brow lifts – A brow lift, also known as a forehead lift or forehead rejuvenation, is a cosmetic procedure to raise the brows with the end goal being to improve the appearance of the forehead, brow and the area around the eyes. The excess soft tissue is removed, and the skin is left appearing smoother.
  • Breast augmentation – Breast augmentation is a surgery that can aim to change the size and/or appearance of the breast. There are a range of methods used for breast augmentation, and the method used will depend on the desired outcome. During breast augmentation surgeries, excess skin and soft tissue may be removed, and implants can be placed under the breast tissue or chest muscles depending on the patient’s desires.
  • Body lift – A total body lift, sometimes referred to as a circumferential body lift or an upper and lower body lift, is a major operation involving the removal of excess skin and soft tissue, particularly of the abdomen and lower back areas.


  • Botox – Created from botulin. Cosmetically it is used to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralysing the facial muscles.
  • Dermal fillers – Small injections of a gel, usually made up of hylauronic acid. They are injected into areas to fill in wrinkles and create the appearance of smoother skin. Dermal fillers can be used in many areas of the body that fill in wrinkles, adding volume to soft tissue. You can have dermal fillers in different parts of your face: around the eye, cheeks, mouth and jawline, as well as lip fillers administered directly into the lip tissue.
  • Vein treatment – is a new technology to treat varicose veins and spider veins through laser treatments. It works by sending strong bursts of light into the vein resulting in the vein reducing and slowly fade.
  • Chemical peels
  • Hair removal treatments – Can be achieved through various methods, such as creams, epilation and lasers.
  • Teeth whitening – Not strictly considered a cosmetic procedure, and should be carried out by a registered Dental Practitioner. There are various ways to achieve whiter teeth, and these procedures often involve the use of bleaching agents which can cause harm or injury if not used correctly. There is a rise in unregistered persons carrying out these procedures, which is not only dangerous but unlawful.

What injuries are caused because of Cosmetic Surgery?

There are a wide range of injuries and adverse reactions that may result from cosmetic procedures. Some of the most commonly found associated with the non-invasive procedures include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Paralysis
  • Extensive bruising and/or swelling
  • Loss or reduced sight
  • Psychological impact

Often these procedures are carried out by a registered Doctor or nurse. However, as there is little regulation in this area – those carrying out these procedures can have limited or no medical or specialist training.

Those associated with more invasive procedures can be life-threatening. It may be that surgery has been carried out incorrectly and negligently, or the product used in good faith is found to be dangerous.

Often these findings can come too late for many who have already undergone the procedure, such as breast augmentation if it is found that the implant used is not fit for purpose and prone to leaking. These procedures should always be carried out by a registered doctor or surgeon.

Who Does it Affect?

The adverse effects of cosmetic surgery can affect anyone. When undoing these procedures, the practitioner should always explain the risks involved. This may be that the outcome may be not as expected, or that there inherent risks associated with the product or procedure.

In invasive procedures, this information should be obtained via consultation, and should be explained in depth before any further steps are taken. Those who are found to be more at risk than others should have this explained fully to them, and in some cases the practitioner may refuse to carry out the procedure if the risk is considered dangerous.

In non-invasive procedures, again the adverse effects can affect anyone. Although it is not a requirement, we would always advocate that consent only be obtained once all the risks have been explained. The practitioner should always explain fully and administer the product with care and skill.

Can I make a Claim?

It may be that the results were not what you were expecting nor discussed or agreed in the consultation, or you were not properly advised about the risks of an undesirable outcome.

Cosmetic procedures are supposed to make you feel better, happier and leave you feeling more confident. If you decide to part with your hard-earned money to have any cosmetic treatment undertaken, you must place all of your trust in the clinician or surgeon chosen and assume that they will exercise their duty of care to you and perform the procedure to a high standard. Unfortunately, this does not always take place.

If the clinician or surgeon has been negligent, you could be left with painful, long term or even permanent injuries or disfigurements. In some situations, there could have been additional complications resulting in significant adverse effects to your confidence and appearance.

If you’ve had cosmetic surgery and you believe that the procedure went wrong, we understand that you may be left suffering physical and emotional

Please contact us now if you would like to speak to a solicitor in confidence about making a claim for compensation.