Cosmetic surgery compensation claims
If you've had a cosmetic surgery procedure that has gone wrong, you could be entitled to make a cosmetic surgery compensation claim.
How Much Could You Claim?

Cosmetic Surgery Claims

Cosmetic surgery is a popular choice for individuals who want to enhance their appearance or recover from certain conditions or injuries. Considering the significant cost associated with cosmetic procedures, patients have high expectations regarding the quality of care they receive.

Unfortunately, not all patients receive the level of care they deserve, and there are instances where cosmetic surgeons and their staff fail to fulfil their legal duty of care. This negligence can result in various degrees of illness and injuries, and, in severe cases, it can even lead to unexpected death.

When medical professionals breach their duty of care, the consequences can be devastating. Patients may experience physical, emotional, and financial hardships because of errors in their cosmetic surgery.

If you have experienced losses in any of these areas due to someone else’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact an experienced solicitor by calling free on 0800 032 3660 or requesting a call back. They are here to help you pursue the cosmetic surgery compensation you deserve and answer any questions about the claims process.

If you have a valid claim, the solicitors we work with will offer you a no win no fee* service. This means you don’t have to worry about any upfront costs, and you only pay your solicitor if they win your claim. If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay a penny.

What can I do if the results of my cosmetic surgery are not what I expected?

If the results of your cosmetic procedure are not what you expected, you should take the following steps:

  • Talk to your surgeon and try to understand what went wrong without blaming anyone;
  • Take time to think things through and stay objective. Do not let fear or anger cloud your judgment, as many problems can resolve once your body heals;
  • If you are still unsatisfied after healing, discuss a second procedure with your surgeon. Talk about risks, costs, and what happens if the revision does not succeed. Some surgeons may not charge for revision surgery, but there may be other fees involved, such as an overnight hospital stay and anaesthesia;
  • Consider making a formal complaint to the surgeon or clinic where the procedure took place. They should have a protocol for dealing with complaints and may be willing to meet with you. Keep in mind that complaints do not always lead to satisfactory outcomes;
  • Consider getting a second opinion from another surgeon to get a new perspective on your options and ease your doubts;
  • If everything else fails, consider getting legal advice from a specialist cosmetic surgery solicitor experienced in dealing with medical negligence claims. They will assess your case and advise on the best options available to you.

Am I eligible to make a cosmetic surgery claim?

If you have suffered an illness, injury or any error whilst receiving any treatment or consultation for cosmetic surgery, you may be eligible to claim compensation. The easiest way to find out if you have a valid cosmetic surgery claim is by speaking to a legal adviser. They will assess your case to verify whether:

  • Your healthcare provider was negligent towards you by doing something they should not have done or failing to fulfil their responsibilities (breach of duty);
  • That has directly caused you an injury of some type (causation);
  • You have experienced avoidable pain and suffering as a result (damages).

All doctors and medical staff have a duty of care towards patients. They are expected to possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to diagnose and treat medical conditions with reasonable competence. If you can prove a breach of duty, causation and damages, you will likely be able to make a successful claim for negligent cosmetic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery claims may also concern further implications such as emotional, psychological and financial difficulties. The medical negligence solicitors we work with have successfully handled numerous claims for people who have suffered injuries and harm due to cosmetic surgery gone wrong. Some claimants aim to recover the costs of further surgery to rectify errors caused by medical negligence, and your solicitor can offer advice on how to obtain compensation for this too.

What is the duty of care of cosmetic surgeons?

The duty of care of cosmetic surgeons refers to the legal and ethical responsibility they have towards their patients and includes:

  • Have the necessary qualifications, training, and expertise in their field;
  • Keep up-to-date with new techniques and follow the required standards;
  • Give patients accurate information about the risks, benefits, and other options for the procedure that they are considering;
  • Obtain the patient’s permission before performing any procedure (informed consent);
  • Assess the patient thoroughly before the surgery to make sure it is suitable for them;
  • Consider the patient’s psychological needs before undertaking any cosmetic treatment;
  • Use appropriate techniques, maintain proper hygiene, and use the right equipment to reduce the chances of complications or infections;
  • Acknowledge and operate within the limits of their expertise;
  • Provide appropriate care after the surgery to monitor the patient’s recovery and address any problems;
  • Keep full and accurate records of consultations;
  • Communicate clearly with patients, giving them support, information, and instructions before and after the surgery.

If you have suffered in some way due to a breach of duty, you might be eligible to make a cosmetic surgery negligence claim. To find out if you have grounds to claim compensation, call 0800 032 3660 or enter your details here to receive a free consultation with an experienced legal adviser.

What evidence do I need to support a cosmetic surgery claim?

When making a cosmetic surgery claim, evidence is crucial to prove a breach of duty, causation and damages. To help demonstrate what went wrong and how you were affected, your solicitor will aim to collate as much of the following evidence as possible:

  • Pictures or videos of yourself taken before, during and after the surgery. They can show any visible changes, complications, or mistakes that occurred;
  • Medical records related to cosmetic surgery, like assessments, consent forms, surgical notes, post-operative care records, and other important documents;
  • Expert opinions from qualified doctors who specialise in the same type of surgery. They can review your records and tell if the treatment you received met the expected standards;
  • Photos of any visible injuries caused by the cosmetic surgery gone wrong, taken at regular intervals during your recovery and after any corrective surgery;
  • Copies of any written communication you had with the medical professionals involved, such as emails, letters or text messages, especially those related to the information you received and your consent;
  • Statements from people who saw the treatment or its effects, like family members, friends, or others who had similar experiences;
  • Your notes about the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have experienced due to the negligence;
  • If the surgery caused emotional distress, get assessments or reports from mental health professionals. This can help support your claim for psychological damages;
  • Records of any expenses you had for the surgery, including medical bills, receipts for medications, travel costs, and any extra expenses caused by negligence or complications.

Once you have all the necessary evidence to build a strong case, your solicitor will contact the defendant and inform them of your intentions to claim compensation. If they admit to being at fault for the negative outcome, you can begin to negotiate a settlement. Otherwise, you may need to present the evidence and argue your case before a judge. However, this is rarely the case, as more than 95% of all claims conclude without a trial.

Common types of cosmetic surgery

According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), 31,057 cosmetic surgeries took place in 2022. Women underwent 93% of all cosmetic procedures, the most popular being breast augmentation, breast reduction, tummy tuck and liposuction.

While most procedures have satisfactory results, medical errors and negligence can leave you with permanently unattractive results. There are many different forms of cosmetic surgery, but the most common procedures leading to a cosmetic surgery compensation claim include the following:

Tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure performed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tighten the abdominal muscles. It can provide satisfying results for many individuals, but there are potential risks and complications. These include infection, bleeding, scarring, numbness or changes in sensation and asymmetry.

Liposuction

Liposuction aims to remove any excess fatty deposits from certain areas of the body, such as the thighs, abdomen, arms, hips, or neck. As with any surgical procedure, liposuction carries some risks and potential complications. These include infection, bleeding, changes in sensation, contour irregularities, fluid accumulation, and scarring.

Facelift

A facelift aims to rejuvenate the face and reduce the visible signs of ageing. It can address various concerns, including sagging skin, deep creases, jowls, and loss of facial volume. Complications may include bruising, swelling, infection, scarring, numbness, changes in sensation and asymmetry.

Nose reshaping

Nose reshaping, also known as rhinoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to alter the shape, size, or overall appearance of the nose. Recovery may involve swelling, bruising, and some discomfort, which gradually subsides over time. However, it may cause long-term complications like scarring, asymmetry, altered sense of smell and breathing difficulties.

Breast augmentation

This procedure involves enhancing the size and shape of the breasts. This is done by inserting implants through specific incisions, such as under the breast crease, around the areola, or in the armpit. The implants can be filled with saline solution or silicone gel, based on individual preferences and needs. The risks of breast surgery negligence include infection, bleeding, implant rupture, changes in sensation and scarring.

Ear reshaping

Ear reshaping, also known as otoplasty or ear pinning, is a surgical procedure designed to improve the shape, position, or proportion of the ears. It involves reshaping, repositioning or removing cartilage to create the desired outcome. As with other procedures, the risks associated include infection, bleeding, scarring, changes in sensation and a lack of symmetry.

Eyelid surgery

Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure performed to enhance the appearance of the eyelids. It can address various concerns, such as sagging eyelids, excess skin or fat, and puffiness around the eyes. Long-term complications may include dry eyes, blurred vision, injury to eye muscles and blindness.

Gastric band operations

Gastric band surgery is designed to help individuals with obesity lose weight and improve their overall health. It is done by placing a silicone band around the upper part of the stomach. This creates a smaller pouch that limits the amount of food the stomach can hold. While it is considered a relatively safe procedure, it carries potential risks and complications. These include infection, bleeding, band slippage or erosion, gastric pouch dilation and digestive issues.

Laser skin resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure that aims to improve the appearance of the skin by reducing imperfections and promoting skin rejuvenation. It is commonly used to address concerns such as wrinkles, fine lines, sun damage, acne scars, and uneven skin texture. While laser skin resurfacing is generally safe, potential risks and side effects include redness, swelling, changes in skin pigmentation and scarring.

Botox injections

Botox injections are a cosmetic procedure commonly used to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and fine lines. Botox is a brand name for a purified form of botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin that temporarily paralyses or relaxes specific muscles, resulting in a smoother and more youthful appearance. Botox injections are generally safe when performed by a trained professional, but there are numerous examples of unsatisfactory results from botched botox injections.

If you have suffered any avoidable injury or consequences due to medical negligence, you might be able to make a cosmetic surgery claim. To find out if you are entitled to compensation, you should get legal advice by calling 0800 032 3660 for a free consultation. Alternatively, use our online claim form, and a legal adviser will call you back.

Common causes of cosmetic surgery compensation claims

Cosmetic procedures can help improve physical appearance and address perceived flaws and insecurities. They may also be necessary to correct congenital abnormalities or repair physical damage caused by accidents, burns, or injuries. Before you decide to have cosmetic surgery, you should seek comprehensive information about the risks involved and consider the following points:

  • What aspects of your appearance would you like to change and why?;
  • What are your expectations and desired outcomes?;
  • Explore your treatment options and determine if you are a fit candidate for the procedure;
  • Understand the procedure, potential risks, and possible complications;
  • Evaluate the experience and qualifications of the doctor who will be performing the surgery;
  • Discuss the expected recovery time, anticipated results, and how long they are likely to last;
  • Ask about your options if you are not satisfied with the results and what steps can be taken for further improvement;
  • Gain clarity on the course of action if something goes wrong during or after the surgery;
  • Clarify any potential additional costs that may be incurred and ensure that you have a clear understanding of the financial aspects.

If you have decided to get cosmetic or plastic surgery and something has gone wrong, a personal injury solicitor can help you claim compensation for your pain, suffering and financial losses. The most common causes of a cosmetic surgery claim include:

  • Errors which result in muscle, tissue or nerve damage
  • Poor hygiene standards resulting in infections
  • Manufacturing defects with implants
  • Surgical errors causing excessive scarring
  • Poor post-operative care resulting in infections or haematoma
  • Complications arising out of pain relief drugs or anaesthesia
  • Failure to explain risks associated with the procedure to the patient
  • Physical and psychological injuries following errors in cosmetic surgery

If you have suffered an illness or injury because of errors in your cosmetic surgery and the service you received from the health practitioners involved, use our online claim form or call 0800 032 3660 to discuss your eligibility to make a claim.

A fully trained legal adviser will assess your circumstances in a free initial consultation. They will offer advice on the processes involved and how much compensation you could be entitled to claim.

What are the consequences of cosmetic surgery gone wrong?

All cosmetic procedures carry risks that may lead to health problems or unsatisfactory results. Your doctor must explain these risks to you and get your informed consent before conducting any procedures. You should keep in mind that you can claim cosmetic surgery compensation even if you signed a waiver as long as you can prove the treatment was performed negligently.

It is worth noting that it can take several months to recover from a cosmetic procedure. However, careless surgery or inadequate aftercare can lead to various consequences, such as:

  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Nerve damage
  • Asymmetry
  • Tissue necrosis
  • Adverse reactions to anaesthesia or medications
  • A significant psychological impact that may lead to depression, anxiety and body image issues
  • Infections
  • Loss of sensation in the nipples
  • Changes in skin colour
  • Blurred vision, sagging eyelids and, in severe cases, blindness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • The need for additional medical treatment and corrective surgery
  • Ongoing pain and discomfort
  • Impact on your ability to carry out daily activities, work, or engage in social interactions

You could be entitled to make a cosmetic surgery claim if you suffered any damages due to negligence. Your solicitor will make sure all your losses are included in your claim and will work hard to secure the maximum compensation available. They will also arrange a medical review with an independent specialist to assess your future needs and determine the cost of any corrective treatment required.

Can I claim cosmetic surgery compensation if I had a procedure abroad?

Medical tourism is a growing industry, and many Brits travel outside the UK to look for cheaper cosmetic surgery options. However, there are potential issues associated with seeking medical treatment overseas:

  • The quality and standards of healthcare facilities and practitioners may vary in different countries;
  • It can be challenging to assess the credentials, qualifications, and experience of surgeons and medical staff abroad;
  • There may be differences in regulations and oversight compared to the UK;
  • Language barriers can pose challenges in effectively communicating your desires, concerns, and medical history;
  • When seeking treatment abroad, it may be more difficult to receive the necessary post-operative care or address any complications that arise;
  • The overseas clinic or surgeon might not have insurance in place to cover a personal injury claim;
  • Different countries have varying legal systems and processes, which may present obstacles in pursuing a legal cosmetic surgery claim;

Nonetheless, if you have suffered from cosmetic surgery gone wrong abroad, you may still be entitled to compensation. Your right to claim will depend upon several factors, including:

  • Whether you can claim in the UK or you need to claim abroad
  • The specific time limits within which you can start the legal process
  • Whether there is even a legal right to claim under the foreign country’s jurisdiction

If you are not happy with your overseas procedure and want to start a cosmetic surgery claim, you must consult with a solicitor with specialist experience in dealing with international claims. They will be able to provide advice on the applicable law in the country where the treatment occurred and help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Time limits to start a cosmetic surgery negligence claim

In the UK, the standard limitation period for most personal injury claims, including for cosmetic surgery procedures that have gone wrong, is three years. This period typically starts from the date of the careless act or when you became or should have become aware of the negligence and its consequences. If you fail to initiate your claim within this time frame, you may lose your right to seek compensation.

However, there can be exceptions to the standard limitation period, such as:

  • If the injured party is under 18, the time limit does not start to run until they legally become an adult. A parent or legal guardian could claim on their behalf at any time before that. Otherwise, the injured child will have until their 21st birthday to claim.
  • If the claimant cannot conduct legal proceedings due to a lack of mental capacity, the time limit is suspended. A litigation friend could claim cosmetic surgery compensation at any time for someone who suffers from:
    • An intellectual disability like Down syndrome
    • A mental health illness like schizophrenia
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • A brain injury or a stroke
    • A neurodegenerative condition like Alzheimer’s disease
  • The three-year time limit only begins if the injured person recovers from their disability or is judged to possess the mental capacity to make legal decisions.
  • If you have received cosmetic treatment abroad, the claim limitation date could vary significantly from country to country and could be as short as one year.

Ideally, you should contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. That will ensure they have plenty of time to gather the necessary evidence to build a strong case. If you have less than six months left until the time limit, they may no longer accept your cosmetic negligence claim, even if it has merit.

How much compensation can I claim for cosmetic surgery gone wrong?

To make a successful cosmetic surgery compensation claim, your solicitor must prove the liability of your illness or injury. The severity of your condition and the impact that symptoms have or will have on your life play a crucial role in how much you could receive. The more extreme these factors are, the higher the compensation amount will be. It is, therefore, essential to have as much evidence and information relating to your case and condition as possible.

The starting point is a free consultation. That is an opportunity for both the solicitor and yourself to ask questions about the case and evaluate the severity of your condition. Once the solicitor has a good understanding of your case, they will be well placed to offer you a realistic estimate of the likely amount of compensation you should be entitled to.

Some of the damages you could recover in a cosmetic surgery negligence claim include the following:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium or companionship
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Anxiety, depression and embarrassment
  • The cost of future corrective surgery
  • Lost wages during recovery
  • Loss of a unique career
  • Medical expenses that are needed to address the complications or errors caused by the negligence
  • Any other related financial expenses

The compensation for financial losses is awarded based on physical evidence, such as receipts, bank statements and invoices. The award for pain, suffering and other subjective losses, known as general damages, is calculated based on the guidelines published and updated yearly by the Judicial College. Based on their recommendations, you could receive the following amounts of general damages:

  • £1,710 to £13,740 for trivial to mild facial scarring
  • £9,110 to £30,090 for significant facial scarring that can be significantly corrected with further surgery
  • £17,960 to £48,420 for substantial facial disfigurement and psychological damage
  • £29,780 to £97,330 for very severe facial scarring and disfigurement
  • £2,080 to £19,930 for scarring to other body parts, depending on the severity
  • £1,350 to £5,130 for minor emotional damage

You can find out more about how much compensation could be awarded for various injuries using our compensation calculator.

How long will it take to process my cosmetic surgery compensation claim?

How long it takes to process your claim will largely depend upon the complexity of your case. If there are no liability disputes and all facts are clear, compensation may be awarded within a matter of months.

However, in some instances, it can be harder to establish that your cosmetic surgeon was responsible for your illness or injury, and your solicitor may have to work longer to prove liability. If the extent of your injuries is not fully understood or you need more medical investigation, it may take over a year to settle.

Your solicitor will strive to handle your claim as efficiently as possible while ensuring all necessary steps are taken to achieve a fair and satisfactory outcome. To help them build a strong case and secure compensation as quickly as possible, you should:

  • Contact your solicitor as soon as you can to start the claims process
  • Keep detailed records of everything from the beginning, such as medical records, receipts, and any other evidence available
  • Give accurate and thorough information about the incident and your injuries
  • Cooperate fully and quickly if your solicitor needs more details or information
  • Follow the medical advice given to you to show you are committed to your recovery
  • Fill in the required forms and sign documents without delay

Are there any upfront costs that I will have to pay my solicitor?

We believe it is unreasonable to expect people to make any upfront payments for legal advice and services when claiming compensation for an illness or injury caused by a third party.

With that in mind, the solicitors we partner with will be pleased to offer their services on a no win no fee basis. That means you will not be asked to pay any upfront costs, and they will only request payment upon the successful completion of your case. If they fail to secure your cosmetic surgery compensation, you will not have to pay them a penny.

Furthermore, you will also be exempt from paying any costs incurred during litigation, thanks to the After the Event (ATE) insurance policy that is part of the No Win No Fee arrangement. The ATE is a legal expenses insurance that will cover:

  • The other side’s costs and solicitor fees
  • The cost of medical reports and expert witnesses
  • Travel expenses related to the claim
  • Paralegal and any other staff time
  • Costs of printing and copying
  • Barrister fees, if your claim goes to court

Under a No Win No Fee agreement, you only have to pay anything if your claim is successful, including the cost of the ATE premium and the success fee paid to your solicitor. The success fee can be a maximum of 25% of the compensation awarded.

To find out if you have a valid cosmetic surgery claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 032 3660 for a free consultation. Or request a call back by entering your details in our online claim form.

* Personal injury claims are offered on a no win, no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive up to 25% of your compensation as their success fee. Any additional costs, such as legal protection insurance, will be clearly explained to you by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply if you fail to cooperate with your solicitor. This includes deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing.