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Botched cosmetic surgery leaves patient with burns, deformities

Not everyone needs or wants cosmetic surgery, but imagine if you did. Some cosmetic surgeries, such as facial reconstruction, are necessary after a person suffers a serious injury, but most people assume that procedures like tummy tucks and liposuction are minor and generally safe.

However, the reality is that major mistakes can occur in just about any medical scenario, as one recent medical malpractice lawsuit illustrates.

A 26-year-old woman wanted to get rid of some weight she had gained during her pregnancy, so she went to a gynecologist who also happened to do laser liposuction procedures. Unfortunately, the woman came away from the whole ordeal with permanent scars and deformities.

During the procedure, the doctor actually stepped out of the room to receive a Chinese food order, which may have been the first sign that all was not well.

When the procedure was finished, the patient was sent on her way with some medication, but the next day she went back to the doctor complaining of severe abdominal pain. She also had swelling in her back, but the doctor said the pain was not due to burns from the laser procedure. The doctor told the woman not to visit the emergency room.

After a few more days, though, the pain became so intense that the woman collapsed. She went in for emergency treatment, but again, on a phone call this time, the gynecologist said an emergency room visit wasn't necessary and that the patient should come to his office instead.

This time the doctor gave her an ointment for her burns and acted as if nothing was wrong. This drove the patient to seek a second opinion, and another doctor sent her to a hospital for surgery and treatment for severe burns.

A court recently sided with the injured patient and found the doctor liable for the injuries. The damages the doctor will pay have yet to be decided.

The case is a reminder for Ohio and Pennsylvania residents that doctors' opinions are not always reliable, and sometimes doctors' actions are downright deceitful. In these cases, a claim of medical malpractice may be the best way of achieving justice.

Source: Medical Daily, "Manhattan OB/GYN Gives Patient Third-Degree Burns, Tells Her To Stay Away From Emergency Room; Muraga Raj, 56, Found Liable Of Malpractice After Botched Liposuction," John Ericson, Oct. 16, 2013

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