Claim compensation for facelift negligence
If a facelift procedure has gone wrong due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to make a facelift negligence compensation claim.
How Much Could You Claim?

Facelift Negligence Claims

A facelift is a surgical procedure that aims to tighten and smoothen the skin on the face to give it a younger look. Patients often arrange a facelift to boost their self-esteem and benefit from their desired appearance.

Most patients are pleased with the results when the surgery is performed as planned and in a safe environment. However, as with all types of surgery, things can occasionally go wrong. That mainly happens when cosmetic surgeons make errors or do not observe their legal duty of care to patients.

If you have suffered from any harm, suffering or dissatisfaction with the results following a facelift, you may be able to claim compensation. The medical negligence solicitors we work with have vast experience in this field. They will be pleased to discuss your case to determine your eligibility and advise you on the likely amount of compensation that you could be entitled to.

To find out if you can make a facelift negligence claim, call 0800 032 3660 or use our online claim form to request a free consultation with a legal adviser.

What is a facelift?

A facelift is also known by its official medical term, ‘rhytidectomy.’ This type of cosmetic surgery aims to reduce the visible signs of ageing by lifting and pulling back the skin on the face. Some facelifts are performed on the whole face, whereas others are performed on specific areas. The procedure is often used to remove or improve jowls, remove creases around the eyes, and reduce excess skin on the chin.

In a typical facelift procedure, the skin is detached from the underlying tissues, the excess fat and skin are removed, and the muscles are tightened. The skin is then re-stitched back in place and often supported with bandages or dressings to minimise the risk of infection and increase healing time.

Depending upon the required work level, a facelift can take several hours and be followed by up to six weeks of recovery. There will likely be some bruising and inflammation of the skin following the procedure, and it will likely take more than six months to see the final results from the surgery.

The surgeon should give the patient sufficient information about post-surgery expectations and care. That is a legal obligation, and if you feel that you were not fully prepared for the surgery or aftercare, you may be eligible to claim compensation if you have suffered any injury or illness as a result.

Types of facelift procedures

Several types of facelifts are available, each designed to address specific concerns and achieve the desired outcomes. There are three main types of facelifts for cosmetic purposes:

  • The SMAS Facelift is the most common form of the surgery and is also known as a ‘typical’ facelift. SMAS stands for the Superficial Musculo-Aponeurotic System, a layer of fibrous tissue beneath the skin and fat of the face. This layer can be restrung and tightened to achieve the desired effect. In this surgery, the doctor will make an incision along the patient’s hairline and separate the skin from the underlying tissues. They will then tighten the SMAS with sutures and reattach the skin, removing any excess before stitching.
  • The subperiosteal facelift technique is similar to the SMAS procedure. It involves lifting the soft tissue vertically, detaching it entirely from the facial bones, and repositioning it to achieve the desired look. This procedure lifts the deeper facial structures, significantly rejuvenating the midface and cheek area. However, it results in more severe swelling, which takes longer to clear than alternative facelift methods.
  • Thread Lift cosmetic surgery is a significantly less invasive facelift procedure than alternatives. It involves dissolvable threads and sutures and is most often used to address sagging skin around the eyes, forehead, and nose. This type of procedure can be carried out under local anaesthetic and has a shorter recovery period when performed correctly.

Am I eligible to make a facelift negligence claim?

Most facelift procedures are carried out by professional, experienced, and highly trained surgeons without complications or adverse effects. However, botched facelift surgery can happen when medical professionals lack proper training, qualifications, hygiene standards, or equipment. The results can be devastating and lead to significant physical and emotional damage.

If you have suffered from any error or damage following a facelift procedure and the medical practitioner was to blame, you will likely be eligible to claim facelift compensation. To have a valid claim for facelift negligence compensation, your solicitor must prove the following:

  • A duty of care. All cosmetic surgeons owe patients a duty of care to perform the facelift procedure with the skill and competence expected of a qualified professional. You can read more about what this involves in the section below.
  • Breach of duty. A breach of duty occurs if the cosmetic surgeon fails to meet the standard of care expected in performing the facelift procedure. This breach may involve errors such as inadequate pre-operative evaluation, failure to disclose risks or using improper surgical techniques.
  • Causation. To establish causation, it must be shown that the breach of duty directly caused your injuries and damages. Your solicitor will work with medicolegal experts to prove that the surgeon’s negligent actions or decisions directly contributed to complications or adverse outcomes.
  • Damages. These refer to the harm or losses you suffered due to negligent facelift surgery. Examples may include physical injuries, pain and suffering, emotional distress, medical expenses for corrective procedures and lost income.

The solicitors we work in partnership with are highly skilled in assessing individual cases, and they would be pleased to discuss your claim and provide advice on the likely outcome. This case assessment is free of charge, and you are not obligated to proceed further. To get started, call free on 0800 032 3660 or request a call back.

What is a cosmetic surgeon’s duty of care?

Cosmetic surgeons have a legal duty to provide patients with a standard of care that ensures their safety, well-being, and the achievement of reasonable treatment goals. This duty refers to various aspects before, during, and after cosmetic procedures:

  • Informed consent. Before any procedure, the doctor must explain all the risks, benefits, and other options to patients, helping them understand what they’re agreeing to.
  • Assessment and evaluation. Surgeons should carefully look at a patient’s medical history, health, and what they want to achieve from the surgery. This helps decide if the procedure is safe, the best choice for them, and if it’ll give the desired results.
  • Skill and competence. Medical professionals need to be qualified and trained to do their jobs well. They should also keep up with the latest techniques to ensure they can perform surgeries safely.
  • Patient safety. The patient’s well-being is a top priority. Surgeons must follow proper hygiene standards and use the right tools and techniques to prevent any problems during surgery.
  • Follow-up care. After surgery, patients need care to help them heal properly. Doctors should check in with patients and help them with any issues.
  • Ethical conduct. Medical professionals must always be honest and respectful with their patients. They should never pressure someone into having surgery they don’t need and keep all patient information private.

If you suffered any harm due to a breach of duty, an experienced solicitor could help you make a successful facelift claim and recover damages for your pain, suffering and financial losses.

What evidence do I need to support my claim for facelift compensation?

If you want to start a cosmetic surgery claim, you need relevant evidence to support your case and get the compensation you deserve. This must prove that you received substandard care and show how this has affected your life. The types of proof your solicitor could use to secure facelift negligence compensation include:

  • Photographs or videos taken before and after the plastic surgery and during the healing process will help show what happened and what has gone wrong;
  • Records from mental healthcare professionals regarding any related psychological trauma you want to include in your claim, such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  • Your medical records will show the injuries you suffered due to a facelift gone wrong, how you have suffered and the treatments you received;
  • Copies of pre-operative assessments, surgical notes, postoperative care records, and any documentation of complications or follow-up treatments;
  • Statements from qualified medical experts can provide professional opinions on the standard of care, any deviations from it, and the causal link between negligence and injuries;
  • Copies of correspondence with your surgeon can prove that you were incorrectly informed about the procedure and what you can reasonably expect to achieve;
  • Accounts from friends and family who observed the surgery negligence and how you have suffered afterwards;
  • Your notes about what happened, a record of names, the dates that events occurred and how the negligent cosmetic surgery has affected your life;
  • You should also keep a record of any costs and financial losses incurred as a result of your injuries, as you can claim them back.

Once you have collated all the necessary evidence, your solicitor will present the facelift negligence claim to the defendant. They will have three months to investigate the case and accept or deny liability. Based on their response, your solicitor will either start negotiating your compensation award or issue court proceedings. You should not worry too much about the latter, as more than 95% of all cases are settled without a trial.

Potential negative results following a facelift

A facelift, just like any form of surgery, has potential side effects or risks to health. Your surgeon is legally obliged to discuss the possible risks with you before the operation. This way, you can determine whether you are prepared to proceed based on informed potential outcomes. Some side effects are to be expected and are a normal part of the healing process. These include:

  • Swelling. Your face may swell up, peaking a few days after surgery and gradually returning to normal over a few weeks.
  • Bruising. You might see bruises around the surgery site, but these usually go away within a few weeks.
  • Discomfort or pain. You can expect to feel mild to moderate discomfort or pain after surgery. Your doctor can prescribe medicine to help with this.
  • Tightness or dryness. As the skin heals, it might feel dry or tense, so it’s essential to use gentle skincare and keep it hydrated.
  • Numbness. Your face might feel numb or different at first, but this usually goes away as the nerves heal.
  • Scarring. There might be some scars, which should fade and become less noticeable over time.
  • Difficulty eating or speaking. You might find it a bit tricky to eat, smile, or talk at first as your facial muscles adjust to the changes.

Some of the unexpected results that could be suffered following a facelift, especially if you received substandard care, include:

  • Infections due to poor surgical hygiene or inadequate postoperative care
  • Excessive bruising and swelling, which can extend down the neck in severe instances
  • Severe and persistent pain and discomfort, including in the stitches and headaches
  • Permanent nerve damage leading to a loss of sensation in the face
  • Unnecessary and excessive scarring which does not fade over time
  • Blood clots and haematoma, a collection of blood under the skin which may need drainage
  • Temporary or permanent loss of hair around the incision sites
  • Unexpected results, such as uneven or asymmetrical facial appearance, requiring corrective surgery
  • Skin necrosis due to inadequate blood supply to the tissues
  • Muscle damage, which can result in weakness, asymmetry, or changes in facial expression
  • Emotional distress, such as anxiety, embarrassment and depression

If you have suffered from any adverse effects following facelift surgery and believe that a medical error or negligence caused them, contact a solicitor to discuss your case and determine whether you can make a compensation claim.

Types of medical negligence that may lead to a facelift compensation claim

All medical professionals must adhere to a certain standard of care to ensure the health and well-being of patients. If your doctor has failed to uphold their duties and you suffered an injury as a result of negligence, you may have a facelift compensation claim. Some types of clinical negligence that could lead to legal disputes include:

  • Mistakes made during the surgical procedure itself, such as incorrect incisions, excessive tissue removal, or damage to facial nerves or muscles;
  • Failure to fully inform patients about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a facelift procedure and obtain their informed consent;
  • Using substandard surgical techniques, such as inadequate tissue handling or improper suture placement;
  • Failure to conduct an adequate preoperative assessment to determine the suitability of a facelift procedure, including a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical history, current health status, and aesthetic goals;
  • Negligence in postoperative care, such as failure to recognise and address signs of infection or complications;
  • Lacking the necessary qualifications, training, and experience to perform the surgery safely and effectively;
  • Failure to schedule and conduct timely follow-up appointments or address patient concerns promptly may also constitute cosmetic surgery negligence.

If you were negatively affected by facelift surgery and want to start a medical negligence claim, do not hesitate to call 0800 032 3660 or fill out our contact form. An experienced solicitor will offer you a free case assessment and guide you through every step of the claims process.

Can I still claim compensation if I signed a waiver?

Yes, you can still claim for a facelift gone wrong even if you signed a waiver. Signing a waiver or a consent form does not absolve medical professionals from liability for facelift surgery negligence. This is just an essential part of medical procedures to inform you of the treatment you are going to receive and the associated risks and side effects.

By signing the waiver, you legally agree to receive the procedure, assuming the related risks. However, a specialist cosmetic surgery solicitor can help you claim if it can be shown you signed the form without being adequately informed beforehand. Also, while there are risks associated with surgery, you can still make a facelift claim if you suffered an avoidable injury or illness due to the doctor’s negligence.

Can I claim for psychological damage from a botched facelift?

Yes. Your facelift surgery compensation claim can include any psychological harm you suffered as a result of cosmetic negligence. If the intervention went wrong and caused you mental anguish, embarrassment, distress, anxiety or depression, these can be factored into your compensation award.

To pursue a claim for psychological damage, you would need to demonstrate that you suffered due to the negligence of the medical professional. This involves providing evidence of the negative impact the cosmetic facelift surgery has had on your mental health, such as:

  • A psychological evaluation by a qualified mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, who will assess the extent of your suffering;
  • A comprehensive assessment of your symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, and recommended treatment plan;
  • Records of any counselling sessions, therapy appointments, or other mental health treatments can show the efforts you have made to address your condition and its impact on your life;
  • Statements from friends, family members, or colleagues who have observed changes in your behaviour, mood, or functioning since the negligent cosmetic surgery procedure;
  • A personal journal documenting your symptoms, including how they affect your daily life, relationships, work, and overall well-being;
  • Expert testimony from mental health professionals who can attest to the nature and extent of your injuries, the relationship between the botched facelift and your symptoms, and the prognosis for your recovery;
  • You should also keep records of any out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result, such as medical bills, therapy costs, prescription medications, and lost wages due to missed work.

How much compensation could I receive for a facelift surgery gone wrong?

The amount of compensation you could receive for a facelift claim will depend on your unique situation. This will reflect the extent of your pain, suffering and related financial losses, but you must be able to account for every penny by providing relevant evidence. Your solicitor will aim to secure the maximum compensation award by including two types of damages in your claim:

General damages compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenities caused by the surgical negligence. These may include factors such as:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • The emotional and psychological distress caused by the negative outcome of the procedure
  • Inability to participate in activities or enjoy life as before due to disfigurement or emotional distress
  • Reduced quality of life

Special damages compensate you for any out-of-pocket expenses and losses caused by your injuries, such as:

  • The cost of corrective surgeries and hospital stay
  • Prescriptions and other treatments
  • Expenses related to counselling or rehabilitation
  • Wages lost due to time taken off work during recovery
  • Travel expenses for medical appointments
  • Costs of care and assistance during recovery, even if provided by a loved one

The award for special damages is calculated based on the evidence you can produce, such as receipts, payslips and medical bills. General damages are subjective losses and are awarded based on historical cases and the guidelines from the Judicial College. According to our compensation calculator, you could expect to receive:

  • £1,710 to £3,530 for trivial scarring
  • £3,950 to ££13,740 for moderate scarring that does not have a significant impact on your life
  • £9,110 to £30,090 for more severe scarring that may require corrective surgery
  • £29,780 to £97,330 for very severe scarring leading to disfiguration and psychological damage

What is the time limit to start a facelift surgery claim?

The time limit for making a facelift negligence compensation claim is typically three years under the Limitation Act 1980. This period begins from the date of your surgery or when you become aware of the negligence (date of knowledge). After the claim limitation date, your case will be statute-barred, and the court will no longer accept it as valid. There are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • If the claimant cannot handle a facelift claim due to PTSD or another condition, such as Alzheimer’s, the time limit is put on hold. In such cases, a litigation friend could represent them at any time, regardless of when the negligence occurred.
  • If you lost a loved one due to complications from a surgical procedure, you have three years to start a facelift negligence claim after their death.
  • If you choose to receive treatment abroad, the time limit to start your claim may differ from country to country and could be much shorter than three years.

As a general rule, it is always a good idea to start your claim sooner rather than later. Your solicitor will need time to investigate your case and build a strong claim before filing it with the defendant. Seeking prompt legal advice will make it easier to collect evidence and ensure you do not miss any deadlines.

Can cosmetic surgery claims be made on a No Win No Fee basis?

Yes. If you have valid grounds to start a personal injury claim for a facelift gone wrong, your solicitor will offer you a no win no fee* agreement. They will not ask for any upfront fees and will take on the risk that if your claim fails, they will not be able to recoup their costs. They will receive a success fee if they get facelift negligence compensation. The value of the fee can be at most 25% of your settlement and will be agreed upon from the beginning.

If you make a no win no fee claim, your solicitor will also take After the Event (ATE) insurance on your behalf. This will cover all the costs and disbursement incurred during litigation if your case fails. Examples include medical reports, expert witness fees, court fees and the defendant’s solicitors. The ATE is self-insuring, meaning you only pay for the premium if your facelift claim is successful.

Benefits of using a medical negligence solicitor

The solicitors we partner with are highly experienced and knowledgeable. They will work with focus and commitment to secure the highest possible compensation award on your behalf. Additional benefits of hiring a medical negligence lawyer to handle your claim include:

  • A free initial consultation with no obligation to proceed
  • A 100% no win no fee service
  • Friendly and welcoming staff who are keen to support you at all times
  • Specific medical knowledge and access to experts in the field of cosmetic surgery
  • Help and assistance with gathering evidence and building your case
  • Commitment to securing the highest settlement awards possible
  • You can have peace of mind knowing that your case is in capable hands
  • They will handle all communication on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery

If you are ready to make a claim for facelift compensation or you just want more information about the claims process, call 0800 032 3660 today or request a call back. A friendly legal adviser will offer you a free case assessment and answer all your questions with no obligation to proceed with your claim.

* 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.