cosmetic injury

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Zoom fuels rise in requests for Botox and Fillers, but what are your options when a ‘tweakment’ procedure goes wrong?

According to a recent article published in The Guardian, plastic surgeons in the UK saw a 70% increase in requests for consultations in 2020, with Botox and dermal filler treatments being particularly in demand.  The reason for this extraordinary rise?  Well, apparently it is all down to Zoom and other online video conferencing platforms which have made many of us feel more conscious about how we look and fuelled our desire to appear more presentable when on screen.  

And it is not just women who are being tempted by quick-fix injectable treatments that promise to target wrinkles, frown marks and even jowls and double chins. There has also been a huge jump in demand from men.

So what is the problem?

There is no doubt that, in the right hands, Botox and fillers can give amazing results.  The problem is that not everyone who administers injectable cosmetic treatments has the knowledge and training needed to ensure a good outcome and also to limit the likelihood of potential problems occurring, such as:

  •       Botox spreading from your face to other parts of your body, causing potentially life threatening swallowing and breathing difficulties; or 
  •       Fillers causing your skin tissue to become inflamed, resulting in the formation of unsightly and often painful granuloma nodules.

As noted by the former president of The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, Rajiv Grover “The non-surgical sector is rife with lax regulation and unethical promotions and the public must remain vigilant as ‘non-surgical’ does not mean the same as ‘non-medical.’  These treatments have risks as well as benefits and patients must choose their practitioner very carefully.

Your options if something goes wrong

There are a number of things that you can do if a cosmetic procedure does not go according to plan.

The first and most obvious is to raise your concerns with the practitioner who treated you and ask them if there is anything they can do to rectify the problem.  For example, if you have had an allergic reaction to an injectable filler then it will usually be possible to address this by having the filler dissolved and taking a short course of antihistamines or, in extreme cases, prescription steroids.

However, you should only agree to undergo further treatment with your original practitioner if you are entirely satisfied that what happened was simply down to the way your body reacted to the injectable that you were treated with, rather than as a result of the practitioner exercising a lack of skill and care.

Reputable practitioners will usually agree to carry out corrective treatments on an emergency basis and also typically free of charge.

Where going back to your original practitioner is not appropriate, or alternatively where you have tried this but to no avail, then it will usually be a good idea to seek legal advice to determine whether it might be possible for you to obtain redress by bringing a claim for compensation instead.  

This may be an option where:

  •       your treatment was not carried out with the degree of skill and care expected of a competent aesthetics practitioner; 
  •       your treatment was carried out using out of date products or faulty medical equipment;
  •       your treatment was carried out without any prior checks into your medical history, e.g. to identify potential allergy issues or general health concerns that might make treatment inappropriate;
  •       your treatment was carried out without the associated risks being fully explained to you; or 
  •       you were not given adequate post-treatment instructions, e.g. to keep your head upright for a set period of time after receiving Botox to minimise the risk of eyelid drooping or a heavy brow.  

You will not usually be able to claim compensation where you are simply disappointed with the results of your treatment, unless you were specifically promised that a certain outcome could be achieved.

Compensation payout

Where a compensation claim is possible, you will usually be able to seek enough money to cover the cost of any corrective work that you require (to be carried out by someone else who is appropriately qualified) and to recompense you for your pain, suffering and emotional distress.  You will also usually be able to make a claim for any financial losses you have sustained, for example through a drop in your earnings where you have been signed off work due to stress and embarrassment. 

In most cases, compensation can be secured without the need for you to go to court.  However, you must generally start the claims process within three years of the treatment taking place or of a problem with your treatment being discovered.

Need help?

If you have been let down by a cosmetic surgeon or aesthetics practitioner and would like a free consultation to determine whether a claim for compensation may be possible, then please send us a message info@primelegalsolicitors.co.uk.

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