Breast surgery compensation claims
If you've had breast surgery that has gone wrong and caused you harm, contact us today to find out if you can make a breast surgery negligence claim.
How Much Could You Claim?

Breast Surgery Negligence Claims

Breast surgery may be performed as a medical necessity or for cosmetic reasons. In either case, the impact can be significant if the surgery goes wrong. Pain, discomfort and psychological damage are just a few of the impacts suffered by victims of medical errors.

The vast majority of breast surgeries are completed without complications and in full accordance with health and safety practices. However, when errors are made with breast surgery or medical staff are negligent, victims are legally entitled to claim compensation for their pain and suffering.

If you have suffered from medical negligence during breast surgery or during your aftercare, an experienced solicitor can help you achieve the compensation that is rightfully owed to you. The solicitors we work with have managed many breast surgery negligence claims and are committed to securing the highest awards possible on your behalf.

To start your claim or learn more about your legal rights, call 0800 032 3660 today or use our online claim form to request a call back. You will receive a free, no-obligation consultation with a trained legal adviser.

Am I eligible to make a breast surgery negligence claim?

As mentioned above, the best way to find out if you can make a breast surgery compensation claim is through a free consultation with a legal adviser. They will examine your case and consult with medico-legal experts to determine whether you received negligent treatment. They will take on your case and help you secure breast surgery compensation if they can prove the following:

  • A duty of care. The surgeon and all medical staff have a legal obligation to provide a standard of care expected of a skilled and knowledgeable medical professional in similar circumstances.
  • Breach of duty. A breach of duty occurs when a healthcare professional fails to meet the established standard of care, resulting in harm or injury to the patient. In the context of breast surgery negligence, this could include surgical mistakes, poor hygiene standards or failure to obtain informed consent.
  • Causation. This refers to the link between the breach of duty and your injury. You must prove that the harm suffered directly resulted from the surgeon’s negligent actions or omissions. This requires establishing that the injury would not have occurred if the surgeon had adhered to the standard of care.
  • Damages. These refer to the harm suffered as a result of the negligence. The amount of damages awarded in a breast injury claim depends on the severity of the injury and its impact on your life. It can include physical injuries, emotional distress, pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.

After establishing liability, your solicitor will contact the other side and inform them of your allegations of negligence. If they admit being at fault for your injury, you can begin to negotiate your breast surgery compensation award. If they deny responsibility, your solicitor will help you gather all the evidence you need to issue court proceedings and be ready to argue your case before a judge. However, please keep in mind that this is an unlikely scenario, as more than 95% of all claims settle out of court.

Types of breast surgery

There are several different breast surgery options available. Some are needed for medical purposes, whereas others are chosen for aesthetic reasons. Whether you have chosen surgery through preference or necessity, your doctors and medical staff are all legally required to adhere to legislation that protects you from risks and complications.

Some of the most common breast surgery types include:

  • Breast enlargement. Also referred to as breast augmentation or a boob job, surgery to enlarge the size of breasts is carried out through the insertion of various types of implants. Patients can liaise with surgeons to determine their preferred size and shape, and the surgeon will discuss implant types to highlight the differences in the options available.
  • Breast reduction. Some people suffer from health complications related to having larger breasts and so opt for surgery to reduce their size. This can help ease back pain, posture complaints, fitness difficulties and strain on the shoulders and neck. Others opt for this surgery because they feel that their breasts are not proportionate to their body size, and so opt to decrease them for aesthetical reasons.
  • Lumpectomy or mastectomy. These are surgical procedures used in the treatment of breast cancer. They involve the removal of cancerous tissue from the breast or, if needed, the entire breast.
  • Breast reconstruction. This type of intervention is performed to rebuild the shape, size, and appearance of one or both breasts following a mastectomy or lumpectomy.
  • Breast lift. Also known as mastopexy, this is a cosmetic surgical procedure designed to raise and reshape the breasts by removing excess skin.

Breast surgery may be carried out on one breast if the requirement is to make the size of the breasts even, or more commonly, both breasts at once. Augmentation is by far the most common form of breast surgery and is usually completed without any problems or dissatisfaction. However, if you have suffered as a result of breast surgery negligence, you may be able to make a compensation claim.

Common breast surgery complications

All operations have the potential for complications. Medical staff can minimise the threat and counteract vulnerabilities by following stringent health and safety obligations. However, if the medical professional’s duty of care to the patient is not fully met, the risk of complications increases.

Some of the most common breast surgery complications include:

  • Infections that can lead to pain, inflammation, damaged tissue and scarring;
  • Excessive bruising;
  • Bleeding from wounds;
  • Blood or fluid pockets developing in the area of a breast implant;
  • Tension, pain and stiffness in the shoulders;
  • Ruptured or deflated breast implants;
  • Poorly repositioned nipples;
  • Loss of sensation or feeling in the breast and surrounding tissue;
  • Capsular contradiction – a complaint which results in the breast feeling hard and painful, usually caused by an inappropriate implant being inserted;
  • Excessive and avoidable scarring;
  • Bleeding into the breast tissue, which leads to swollen and painful breasts;
  • Haematoma, a collection of blood under the skin that causes swelling, bruising and discomfort;
  • Nipple pain or desensitisation;
  • Breast implants that are visible and cause uneven and rippled skin tone;
  • Breast implants or reductions leading to lopsided breasts or breasts of different sizes;
  • The wrong size implants being inserted;
  • Decreased sensation, numbness, or hypersensitivity in the breast or nipple area;
  • There are also risks associated with anaesthesia, such as adverse reactions, respiratory complications, and allergic reactions.

An experienced and qualified surgeon will minimise, if not eliminate, the complications above through thorough planning and careful execution of the surgery in a hygienic setting. The implications of breast surgery negligence can be huge and can inhibit a victim’s ability to perform daily tasks, work, drive, and interact with their loved ones. It can also have a significant detrimental impact on self-esteem and trust in future medical procedures.

If you have suffered from any complications and it can be proven that someone else was to blame, you may be eligible to make a claim for breast surgery compensation.

Types of medical negligence that could lead to a breast surgery claim

Various kinds of medical negligence in breast surgery can lead to a compensation claim. This can involve a range of errors or omissions by medical staff, including:

  • Mistakes during surgery. These could include errors such as performing the wrong surgery, damaging other body tissues or organs, leaving surgical tools inside the body, or cutting in the wrong places.
  • Lack of pre-operative assessments. This can include failing to check your medical history and suitability for surgery. Failure to identify risk factors or pre-existing conditions that could lead to complications may be considered negligence.
  • Lack of training and experience. Negligence may occur if your doctor performs the surgery with a substandard technique or fails to keep up with best practices and advancements in the field.
  • Problems with anaesthesia. Anaesthesia is the medicine that makes you sleep during surgery. Administering the incorrect dosage of the drug, failing to monitor vital signs during surgery, or delaying emergency care in response to complications can result in severe harm or even death.
  • Poor aftercare. After the surgery, doctors and nurses should ensure everything is going okay. They should watch out for problems like infections or bleeding, provide appropriate medication for your pain and tell you how to avoid complications.
  • Failure to obtain informed consent. Before surgery, your doctor should explain what will happen and what could go wrong. They must make sure you understand the risks and have your permission to perform the surgery.
  • Failure to provide follow-up care. After surgery, your doctor must schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your recovery. If they fail to do so or respond promptly to your concerns, you may have a claim for negligence.

These and other types of substandard care may result in injuries that can range from minor to severe. If you were the victim of negligent breast surgery, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.

Can I still claim compensation if I chose to have breast surgery?

The General Medical Council sets out the regulations that all medical practitioners must follow to practice medicine and surgery both legally and safely. You are protected by the law irrespective of whether you chose to have cosmetic surgery or your breast surgery was part of your treatment. Both private and NHS patients may be entitled to pursue a medical negligence claim if things go wrong.

All medical practitioners, whether private or NHS, must adhere to the law, which means they must observe their duty of care to you. If you suffered avoidable harm or feel your surgery’s results are not as promised, you may be entitled to make a claim. You can discuss your case with an experienced legal adviser during a free telephone consultation to determine your eligibility to make a cosmetic surgery claim.

Can I still claim if I signed a waiver?

In the UK, signing a waiver or consent form does not prevent you from making a personal injury claim for negligence related to breast surgery. While these forms acknowledge that you understand the risks associated with the procedure, they do not absolve healthcare providers from liability if they breach their duty of care.

Whether you can pursue a claim will depend on various other factors. These include the circumstances surrounding the surgery, the nature of the negligence alleged, and the evidence you can produce.

If you believe that the care you received fell below the accepted standard, resulting in harm or injury, seeking advice from an experienced solicitor is crucial. They can review the details of your case, assess the strength of your claim, and advise you on the best course of action. Keep in mind that the presence of a consent form does not prohibit you from starting a breast surgery compensation claim.

Can I claim breast surgery compensation if I had surgery abroad?

Medical tourism is a growing industry, as many people are looking for cheaper options, especially when it comes to cosmetic surgery. However, this brings a series of potential risks and complications. First, the language barrier could make it difficult for you to communicate with the medical staff and give your informed consent for the procedure.

It may also be challenging to find enough information about the doctor or hospital treating you to ensure they keep a high standard of care. They may not offer follow-up care, and you may not be able to file a complaint if things go wrong. Nonetheless, if you do decide to undergo breast enlargement surgery abroad, you may still be entitled to claim compensation for any injury caused by negligence.

However, the process and eligibility criteria can vary depending on several factors. These include the country where the surgery took place, the circumstances of the negligence, and any applicable international laws or agreements. You should inquire beforehand if the surgeon or hospital treating you has insurance against personal injuries to patients.

Also, you should seek legal advice from a specialised solicitor as soon as possible. The time limit to claim compensation for an injury abroad may depend on the particular country and could be much shorter than if you had surgery in the UK. Your solicitor can help you understand your rights, assess the feasibility of a claim, and guide you through every step of the claims process.

Evidence needed to support a claim for negligent breast surgery

In any breast surgery negligence claim, evidence is needed to prove negligence and how you suffered as a result. If you do not have strong proof, your claim is less likely to be successful. Your solicitor will, therefore, work hard to help you gather everything you need to get the compensation you deserve, which could include:

  • Your medical records. These can help determine whether the breast surgery was the best option for you and whether the medical staff was negligent. They will also show the type and severity of the injury you suffered and the treatments you received as a result.
  • Visual evidence. You can use photographs and imaging studies such as X-rays and CT scans to show the condition of the breasts before and after surgery, as well as any complications or adverse outcomes.
  • Expert testimony. Medical opinions from qualified specialists will help establish whether you received substandard care and your recovery prospects.
  • Witness statements. You can use testimony from friends, family members, and other individuals who have seen how the surgery has affected you and your daily life.
  • Your notes. A statement from you is an excellent way to establish the extent of your pain and suffering and any other impacts the failed surgery has had on your life.
  • Correspondence. You can use any written communication, such as emails or letters, between you and your doctor regarding the breast surgery, potential risks, and expected results to support your claim.
  • Financial records. You will need evidence such as medical bills, receipts and wage slips to claim back any losses you incurred due to medical negligence.

This evidence will help establish who was at fault for your injury and quantify the damages you suffered as a result. Substantial evidence will strengthen your claim and help you secure fair and just compensation for your losses. If the other side denies liability, it will help support your claim in court.

What is the time limit to start a breast surgery compensation claim?

As a general rule, you have up to three years to start a personal injury claim following an accident. This time limit is set by the Limitation Act 1980, and claims made after the deadline are usually rejected. In exceptional cases, the court may extend the limitation date based on the reason and extent of the delay.

In case of negligent breast surgery, the three-year limitation period will begin on:

  • The date of the procedure; or
  • The date you became aware of the negligence (date of knowledge)

However, we advise it is best to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible. This way, all the information is fresh in your mind, and it is easier to get hold of evidence.

There are some exceptions to the standard three year rule that may be applicable to your case, such as:

  • If the injured person cannot start legal proceedings due to complications from the surgery or another condition affecting their mental capacity, the time limit is suspended. In this case, a litigation friend could represent them at any time.
  • If you had surgery abroad, the time limit can vary depending on the country where you had the surgery. It could be as short as one year in some cases.

How much compensation could I claim?

Each case is unique, and the compensation you receive will depend on your specific circumstances. Your settlement will be based on two types of damages:

General damages are awarded for subjective losses that are difficult to quantify. This includes:

  • The pain and suffering endured during and after the surgery
  • Physical and emotional trauma caused by any complications or adverse outcomes
  • Anxiety, depression, or loss of confidence
  • Disfigurement or scarring
  • Any negative impact on your hobbies and social activities
  • Loss of enjoyment of life or diminished quality of life due to the impact of the negligence on your physical and mental well-being
  • Loss of companionship

Special damages cover the financial losses and out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of the negligence. These may include:

  • Medical expenses, such as the cost of corrective surgery, follow-up treatments, and medications
  • Loss of earnings or income due to time taken off work for recovery
  • Future loss of earnings or earning capacity if the negligence results in long-term disability or inability to work
  • Travel expenses incurred for medical appointments or treatments
  • Care or assistance with daily activities during the recovery period

The award for special damages will be based on supporting evidence, such as receipts and invoices. The compensation for general damages is based on historical cases and recommendations from the Judicial College. During a case assessment, your solicitor will be able to give you an informed estimate of your likely compensation award.

Why use a solicitor to make a medical negligence claim?

Medical negligence solicitors have vast experience in managing breast surgery claims. As such, they are in the best position to process your case and secure the highest compensation award possible on your behalf. They have specialist knowledge and maintain a thorough understanding of the legislation to ensure they recognise areas of fault and can offer expert legal advice to their clients.

Some of the additional benefits include:

  • A free initial consultation where they will answer any questions and provide an experienced estimate on the outcome of your case;
  • A 100% no win no fee* service;
  • Friendly and knowledgeable staff;
  • A commitment to securing the highest compensation awards available
  • Professional, empathetic and regulated service;
  • They understand the complexities of the legal system and can navigate the process on your behalf;
  • They will handle all communication with the other side on your behalf;
  • If they take on your claim, you can be reassured your case has merit;
  • Your solicitor will also handle all the paperwork and help you gather the necessary evidence to make a successful breast surgery compensation claim.

What is a No Win No Fee agreement?

If you have a valid claim for breast surgery negligence, your solicitor will take on your case on a no win on fee basis. This legal arrangement is also known as a conditional fee agreement (CFA) and means that:

  • You do not have to pay anything upfront to your solicitor for their services;
  • If they are unable to secure compensation for you, you do not pay them anything;
  • If your solicitor successfully wins your case and secures compensation on your behalf, they will receive a fee for their services. This success fee is typically a percentage of the compensation awarded, agreed upon in advance as part of the CFA. It is capped at 25% of your award for general damages and past financial losses.

The no win no fee agreement allows individuals who may not have the financial means to pay for legal representation upfront to pursue a compensation claim with the help of a solicitor. It ensures that the solicitor shares in the risk of the case and is motivated to achieve a positive outcome for the claimant.

As part of the no win no fee service, your solicitor will also take After the Event (ATE) insurance on your behalf. This type of legal expenses insurance provides coverage for the costs associated with pursuing a legal claim, such as:

  • Any fees requested by the court
  • The cost of paralegal and other staff time
  • The cost of expert witnesses
  • Disbursements such as the cost of obtaining medical reports and conducting investigations

ATE insurance provides financial protection and peace of mind for those who pursue a breast surgery negligence claim. You only pay the cost of the ATE premium if you win the case.

If you would like to find out if you have a valid claim and how much compensation you could be awarded for the breast surgery negligence that you have suffered, call free on 0800 032 3660. Alternatively, please enter your details into our contact form to receive a call back from a friendly legal adviser.

* 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.