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‘Tummy Tuck’ Surgeon Defeats £50,000 Damages Claim

Published: 10 December 2014, in categories: Personal Injury Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

A top plastic surgeon has succeeded in fending off a £50,000 damages claim brought by a disgruntled patient who bitterly complained that a ‘tummy tuck’ operation had left her with a scar which was visible above her bikini line.

The woman had already been fitted with breast implants and had had two bouts of liposuction before she went to the surgeon, seeking treatment for excess skin and stretch marks left over from a pregnancy. The abdominoplasty went as planned – there was no suggestion that it was performed negligently – but it left a seven-centimetre vertical scar which could be seen above the patient’s underwear.

The patient claimed that the surgeon had told her that her scar would be only about half an inch long and would be invisible unless she was completely naked. Her lawyers argued that, in neglecting to fully warn her of the risks of scarring, the surgeon had failed to obtain her ‘informed consent’ to the procedure.

However, in dismissing the claim and exonerating the surgeon, the High Court found that she had correctly informed her patient that the length of any post-operative scar was ‘very difficult to predict’. She had conducted two detailed consultations with her patient before the operation and there was no reason to believe that she had fallen below her usual high standards of professionalism.

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