Cosmetic Breast Surgery - Medical Negligence Compensation Solicitors


Whilst most clinical procedures relating to cosmetic breast surgery including both augmentation and reduction are carried out successfully there are times when things go wrong both in private medicine and under the National Health Service. In the event that a healthcare practitioner, including consultants, specialists, doctors, nurses and technicians, is responsible for an error in procedure that causes personal injury it may be possible for a solicitor to make a compensation claim for a financial award based on medical negligence.

Boob Job Gone Wrong

A breast surgery medical negligence compensation claim can be made by a solicitor following both breast reduction and breast augmentation. Such an incident of negligent surgery during breast enhancement or subsequent aftercare is often colloquially termed as a �boob job gone wrong�. In such cases compensation can include damages for pain and suffering including psychological injury, the cost of all previous and subsequent medical procedures where appropriate, loss of wages and all reasonably incurred losses.

Augmentation & Reduction Injuries

The types of injury that occur as a result of a boob job gone wrong includes the following :-

    Breast Augmentation

    • breast disfigurement
    • lopsided breasts
    • tissue hardening
    • leaking implants
    • unacceptable scarring
    • loss of sensation
    • nipple damage
    • psychological injury

    Breast Reduction

    • failed lift
    • unacceptable scarring
    • lopsided breasts
    • loss of sensation
    • nipple damage
    • psychological injury

Breast Implants

In the case of augmentation using breast implants there are a number of problems that can arise. With almost 10,000 breast implant procedures being carried out in the UK every year it is not surprising that there are some errors however the sheer number of operations carried out usually ensures that those carrying out the surgery are highly experienced specialists thereby reducing the incidence of errors. Furthermore the technology behind the design and manufacture of breast implants also improves as time passes. It is not surprising therefore to find that a large percentage of problems relating to breast implants is due to inadequate aftercare and the difficulties caused by infection as a result of negligent nursing. The main problems with breast implants include the following issues :-

  • Bleeding onto the tissues causing swelling & pain.
  • Haematoma swelling due to accumulation of blood.
  • Severe infection causing unacceptable scarring or disfigurement.
  • Reduction or total loss of nipple sensation.
  • Improper location resulting in visible implants & creasing and rippling of skin.
  • Capsular contraction resulting in deformed implants due to internal scarring.

Medical Negligence

The fact that breast surgery fails or has an unacceptable final result does not necessarily indicate medical negligence. Provided that the clinical procedures that were carried out have the support of a substantial body of other medical practitioners there will be no finding of negligence if that procedure failed notwithstanding that an alternative procedure may have succeeded.

no win no fee* Solicitors

In appropriate cases our solicitors will deal with compensation claims for negligent breast surgery on a no win no fee** basis. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. For free advice with no further obligation from a specialist medical negligence solicitor just complete the contact form, email our offices or use the HELPLINE.

Breast Surgery Facts - Surgical Reduction or Surgical Augmentation

Cosmetic breast surgery, either a surgical reduction or surgical augmentation of the breasts, is among the most common plastic surgery performed. Breast enlargement is the number one cosmetic surgery performed in the UK and most people are satisfied with the results. Breast reduction surgery is less common and involves the removal of breast tissue in women who feel their breasts are too large and who have side effects from having large breasts such as sore necks, painful shoulders and sore backs.

Patients who have breast augmentation or breast reduction surgery are more likely to feel more feminine, and have an increase in their confidence and self esteem. They are more able to buy clothing and bras that fit them better and that are more suitable than before and have more symmetry to the breasts in most cases. The breasts are more in proportion to the size of their body and they aren�t as noticeably too small or too large.

Breast enlargement surgery or �breast augmentation� is best done in women who naturally have small breasts, who have asymmetrical (and small) breasts, or who have a loss in breast size due to weight loss or childbirth. There are two types of breast augmentation�that with saline implants and that with silicone implants. Silicone implants are more commonly done than saline implants.

Breast augmentation surgery is done in several ways. They type of incision made depends on the doctor�s comfort level and your own personal preference. If you have a preference of the type of incision you want, choose a surgeon who uses that type of incision often or perhaps preferentially. A surgeon who doesn�t use your preference for incision on a breast augmentation is too likely to make mistakes and to lead to a bad outcome.

Each incision type has its pros and cons. The type of surgery you want is one that leads to the least amount of scarring with the best possible outcome. There are certain incisions that can�t be done with prefilled silicone or saline implants. In such cases, the shell is inserted without the added silicone or saline and the inflation is done after the shell is placed. There are some incision types that few surgeons are skilled at so you might have to hunt around a bit to find a surgeon who does that type of incision and is skilled at doing them. Textured, prefilled implants require a greater incision size and this may or may not be acceptable to you. Inflatable saline implants require a small incision and are rolled up into a cigar shape before being placed in the incision and moved to the proper location.

For types of incisions can be made. These include the areolar incision, in which the incision is made at the bottom portion of the areola. Transaxillary incisions are made in the axilla or armpit and the prefilled implant is inserted through the incision. Inframammary incisions are made through the crease which lies beneath the breasts. The implant can be easily placed either above or below the existing breast tissue. A TUBA incision is also called a trans-umbilical breast augmentation. In such a situation, a small incision is made inside the umbilicus or belly button and a rolled up uninflated prosthesis is run up underneath the breasts and saline is injected into the shell after it has been inflated. Few physicians are skilled in this method of breast augmentation so you may have to hunt for one who does this type of procedure well.

Breast reduction surgery is done less often than breast augmentation so there are fewer doctors comfortable with the procedure. A breast reduction procedure is usually done under general anaesthesia and involves an incision done beneath the breast in the crease between the breast and the trunk. The incision can be done in the axilla as well. The end result is a smaller, shapelier breast that has lost approximately 2-8 pounds per breast. The procedure is done when the breasts are too big and cause back, neck and shoulder problems or if the breasts are out of proportion to the rest of the body. It can be done to a single breast if there is asymmetry of the breasts.

There are more complications to breast augmentation than there is to breast reduction. Either surgery can lead to a poor outcome, with breasts that are of different sizes and breasts that do not look the way you want them to look. Keloid scars are possible with both breast surgeries, which are thick, ropy scars that look very obvious and unsightly. Infection that damages the breast tissue can happen with both surgeries; with breast implant surgery, it can result in removal of the breast implant until the infection clears.

With breast augmentation surgery, you can have rupture of the breast implant. This is unsightly but not dangerous with saline implants. The implant only needs to be replaced. With silicone implants, rupture can cause tissue reaction that hardens the breast tissue and can lead to very complex scarring. A CT scan or MRI scan can show for sure if there has been a rupture of a silicone implant into the tissue. Some breast ruptures can be silent but can still lead to systemic symptoms from silicone �allergic reactions� or other reactions from silicone.

If your breast implant needs to be removed, you will likely need a breast lift because the tissue has become stretched out due to the presence of the implant. This is particularly the case if you have had big implants placed in your breast area.

You can also get a condition known as symmastia, commonly known as a �uni-boob�. It happens when the surgeon makes pockets for your implants that are too close together. The breasts can end up touching in the middle, which is an unsightly complication. It usually is seen several days after the surgery is over with and needs a revision to make it look normal again.

The capsule can contract and become squeezed by scar tissue. About five percent of women will get this complication. It can occur any time but usually occurs three months or more after the surgery has happened. It is impossible to prevent contracture and it is impossible to predict who will get a contracture and who won�t. It results in a hard breast or breasts that are shrunk by breast scarring. The only way to fix it is to break up or remove the scarring and a revision may be necessary.

Your breasts implants can �bottom out�. This happens when the breast implants are placed too low or are too big and they fall, crossing over the inframammary crease. The doctor needs to place the implants in a pocket high enough to prevent bottoming out of the breast implant, which usually sags due to gravity.

An implant can slip out of place. This can happen if the surgeon makes too big of a pocket and allows the implant to slide around in the breast tissue. It can happen right after having breast implant surgery or many months later. The breast implant can travel up to the axilla or below the inframammary crease. It can migrate past the midline toward the other breast.

Your doctor is responsible for preventing those things that can be preventable and is responsible for telling you about the complications that cannot be prevented. Find out what the policy is for having to pay for revisions if there is a complication to your breast reduction or breast augmentation surgery.

Breast Surgery Overview

Breast surgery is done for many reasons. Some of these breast surgeries include the following:

  • Cancer of the breast, in which lymph nodes are removed as well.
  • Breast cysts.
  • Breast lift.
  • Breast reduction.
  • Breast augmentation.

Most surgical procedures of the breast go well, however, there are specific complications of breast surgery you need to know about. For example, in cancer of the breast, there can be bleeding complications and infection after surgery. The doctor can fail to take all the cancer out and can fail to take out the cancer in the lymph nodes. This can lead to a recurrence of the woman�s cancer and further cancer complications, including death from metastatic cancer.

Breast cyst surgery is less complicated than breast surgery for cancer. It usually involves removing a cyst from the breast via local anaesthesia via a needle. The patient may need to have IV sedation at the time of surgery but, unless they have an allergy to an aesthetic medication, the surgery usually goes well.

Breast lift surgery is a complicated type of surgery in which the surgeon uses procedures to lift the breasts into a higher position if they are sagging. The procedure can go wrong with bleeding, infection and anaesthesia complications but it also can have the complication of have one or both breasts end up too low. One breast can end up higher than the other. This means the possibility of further corrective breast surgery or smaller breasts than was desired.

Any time a person has cosmetic breast surgery, it is important to have the doctor ask in detail about what the patient really wants in breast surgery before having the surgery. Does she want larger breasts or smaller breasts? Should they be perky or full in nature? Is one breast larger than the other? Does she want the nipples to have a circle around them or do they want a surgery with an inferior incision? The doctor should describe all these surgeries to the patient and talk about cost of the procedure, given what the patient wants.

Breast reduction surgery is done on women who want smaller breasts or who want one breast smaller as it is bigger than the other. The doctor takes measurements of the volume of each breast and decides how much volume to take out of each breast. At the time of surgery, the amount of volume needed to be removed from each breast is removed. Besides the usual complications of surgery, the surgeon can make an error in judgement as to how much breast tissue to take out and can have one breast bigger or smaller than the other. This will necessitate another risky surgery.

Perhaps the cosmetic surgery with the greatest deal of risk is breast augmentation surgery. This involves the use of implants of various types that are inserted into the chest cavity. There are many different types of breast implants. There are silicone implants and saline implants. Some saline implants are tunnelled up through the umbilicus and placed into the skin of the breast area. Saline is then placed into a pocket and repeated on the other side. Complications include misplacement of the pocket of saline and leakage of saline.

Silicone implants or saline implants can be inserted via a pocket in the upper lateral chest. A pocket is made that holds the implant and it is inserted in the right spot in the breast area. The main risk is of infection and bleeding, but also of placing the implant in the wrong area or having it migrate.

Another breast augmentation surgery involves implanting a silicone implant. Silicone implants can be placed above or below existing breast tissue and carries the risk of having rupture of the silicone implant so that scar tissue forms at the site of the silicone rupture.


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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here