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Lawsuit filed against doctor who performed unnecessary surgery

In an effort to protect individuals who undergo cosmetic surgery in Fayetteville and throughout the entire U.S., the new president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) warned the public last month about the risk of becoming a victim of medical malpractice. Currently, 48 states allow doctors who are not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to perform cosmetic surgery.

Although these professionals may be licensed in North Carolina and in other states, they do not always have the proper training or knowledge to perform plastic surgery. As a result, many Americans may be subjected to going under the knife for surgery that should not be performed.

One woman from California who underwent plastic surgery for the repair of her breast implants came out of surgery only to discover that the doctor had botched the repair. The woman's breasts were conjoined and the doctor had also performed cosmetic surgery on her eyelids without her permission.

The doctor was licensed in California to perform the surgery, but he was not certified by the board.

The woman eventually sued the physician for malpractice after learning that the surgery that was performed on her breasts was never necessary in the first place. Her case was settled, but she barely received enough compensation to correct the damage that had been done to her body.

Although her breasts were able to be fixed, the woman must live with the physical pain of the botched surgery for the rest of her life. When performing the repair to the woman's implants, the non-certified doctor had cut through nerves and muscle that a certified surgeon would have never touched. The woman will also have to take medication for the rest of her life to keep her eyes moist. The non-certified surgeon had cut off so much skin on her eyelids that the woman will never be able to fully close her eyes again.

In order to prevent other individuals from becoming victims of medical malpractice, the president of the ASPS recommends that individuals first check to see if their surgeon is certified by the board before going under the knife for cosmetic repairs.

Source: ABC, "American Society of Plastic Surgeons Urges Patients to Check Up on Their Surgeons for Their Safety," Courtney Hutchison, Sept. 26, 2011

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