Have you undergone Rhinoplasty surgery that has not gone as planned? Or have you suffered side affects from a nose job that has gone wrong? Let our experienced claims advisors help you with a Rhinoplasty claim today.
According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (BAAPS), rhinoplasty stands as the fifth most popular type of cosmetic surgery. Commonly referred to as a ‘nose job’ the number of these procedures carried out globally is in the hundreds of thousands. Rhinoplasty may be carried out for medical reasons or purely as a cosmetic procedure.
In the UK alone, 2751 patients had this operation in the year 2017 and roughly the same number of people had the procedure the following year. The BAAPS analysis also revealed that men are increasingly opting for rhinoplasty and it accounted for the top cosmetic surgical procedure carried out on men in 2017.
The numbers declined somewhat in 2019/2020, but some of this reduction may be attributed to the impact of Covid-19 with national/regional lockdowns and the cancellation of almost all non-urgent operations.
As with any surgery, cosmetic or otherwise, there are risks to having these procedures and sometimes things do go wrong. When this occurs, you could be eligible to make a rhinoplasty claim.
In this guide you’ll find out:
Why a troubling trend is leading to more rhinoplasty claims. How to identify if you have a valid claim and the key steps you should take to start your claim. You’ll also find out where you can get free help and advice if you need it.
Reasons For Undergoing A Rhinoplasty
There are several reasons why a surgeon would choose rhinoplasty as a course of treatment. Patients born with a cleft palate, or those suffering from breathing problems like a deviated septum, sleep apnoea, chronic sinusitis and so on, can have such conditions corrected with this surgical procedure.
A surgeon can also opt for rhinoplasty to fix nose injuries. Often, this is usually following an accident that leaves the nose broken or deformed in some way. In this case, the doctor does not do much alteration. The aim is simply to fix the damage and return the nose to its original appearance.
However, the main reason behind rhinoplasty becoming quite popular is its appeal as a beauty enhancing cosmetic procedure. Over time, rhinoplasty has become synonymous with the phrase ‘nose job’ which is now widely used. After all, this type of surgery aims to reshape or resize the nose.
A surgeon can remove nasal cartilage and bones to make the nose smaller or give it a streamlined look without lumps. Cartilage grafts can also be added to modify the contours of the nose (e.g. narrow the nostrils, alter the shape of the nose’s tip, and so on). Generally speaking, the procedure can be modified to bring out a patient’s desired results.
An Increasing Trend In Botched Rhinoplasty Surgery
Unfortunately, there has been a rising concern regarding rhinoplasty in recent years. The number of patients citing a botched rhinoplasty has been steadily on the rise.
As per BAAPS findings, roughly four out of five surgeons report an increase in revisions for botched cosmetic procedures in general. So, this begs the question, what do you do when your rhinoplasty goes wrong?
Well, one option is to file a rhinoplasty injury claim. Sometimes undesired results or complications may arise from a nose job gone wrong. If you suffer such damage due to negligence from the surgeon or post-op clinical staff, you can seek compensation for financial losses and any distress caused.
That said, a lot goes into proving that liability of a botched rhinoplasty lies with someone else. And, in the next section of this guide we’ll briefly look at the risks of Rhinoplasty surgery and the steps your surgeon should have taken to mitigate them.
Possible Risks Of Rhinoplasty
Putting a patient under with anaesthesia, creating cuts for access and manipulating internal organs or external features takes its toll on the body. As a result, there is always the risk of complications with any surgery, including rhinoplasty.
In rhinoplasty surgery alone, patients could have an allergic reaction to the anaesthesia, acquire a skin infection on the nose, or form a blood clot after surgery. Delayed healing of the nose is also possible. However, it is worth noting that some of these risks are out of the surgeon’s hands, as every person responds differently.
In addition to these common surgery-related complications, rhinoplasty also puts you at risk of:
- Persistent nosebleeds
- Numbness or tingling of the nose or upper palate
- Breathing problems
- Hole in the nasal septum (thankfully quite rare)
Duties Of A Rhinoplasty Surgeon
Due to the risks surrounding rhinoplasty, a surgeon must ensure that every patient has all the necessary information before committing to the surgery. That applies whether the patient is having surgery for cosmetic or medical reasons.
During consultations, the surgeon will study the structures of the nose and identify what changes are possible. If the purpose of surgery is cosmetic, the patient will make their expectations known.
Afterwards, the surgeon will discuss any limitations brought about by the nose’s make-up and other facial features. Other points of discussion that will be covered include the surgeon’s recommendations, the risks involved, the recovery process, and general cost.
The surgeon is responsible for painting a picture of how the nose will look after surgery. That may involve making marks on the nose to illustrate areas that will be reduced or enhanced.
Alternatively, surgeons can also use more sophisticated methods such as 3D imaging depicting intended outcome, or 3D printouts of the nose ‘as is’ alongside the possible post-surgery look.
It is a legal requirement for medical professionals to divulge all of this information to the patient beforehand, so they can make an informed decision. If not, a patient stands a higher chance of being eligible to file for a negligence compensation claim if things do not go as expected.
How Long Should My Recovery Take?
Rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure, which means you do not need to spend the night before surgery in the hospital. You will also be released from the hospital the same day (after the anaesthesia from surgery wears off) providing everything has gone to plan.
Before discharge, patients should be given post-op care instructions, which cover things like when to resume eating, what to eat, pain medication to take or avoid, activities to refrain from, and so on. However, the physical recovery process takes much longer.
Normal activities can usually be resumed within 2 to 3 weeks post-op, however, strenuous activities (e.g. contact sports) are not allowed for up to six weeks following surgery. There should also be several post-op check-up visits to the surgeon throughout this time, for monitoring the patient’s recovery.
While most of the swelling will have disappeared by the end of the first month, it can take up to 6 months or even a full year before the nose completely heals. It is only after this period that the full results of the rhinoplasty begin to show.
What Qualifies As A Botched Rhinoplasty?
The nose is a delicate structure. It consists of several interconnected bone and cartilage structures, not to mention a host of blood vessels.
Consequently, even though it is generally considered as a common procedure, rhinoplasty is one of the more challenging fields in cosmetic surgery and things do occasionally go wrong.
It may be possible to launch a compensation claim, if there are clear signs of negligence on the part of the surgeon or medical team. Below are some of the more common post-surgery outcomes where nose job injury claims have turned out to be successful.
A bit of bleeding is to be expected, especially during the first few days following surgery. However, if the bleeding becomes so severe that you need to be admitted in the hospital, chances are your surgeon messed up.
Loss Of Sense Of Smell Or Taste
You may experience this if your surgeon injured a nerve. If that is the case, the surgeon can be held liable for the suffering you are going through.
As mentioned earlier, your surgeon should have given you an idea of how your nose will look after surgery. Although this serves as an approximation, the results of the rhinoplasty procedure should be pretty close to the promised outcome.
So, if your nose comes out looking different to what you were made to expect, you may be entitled to make a negligence claim.
Examples of this could be anything from a bulbous or large nose tip, to a bulging bridge, or an asymmetrical nose where one nostril does not match the other. A claims adviser will be able to assess whether you have a valid claim in these circumstances.
Collapsed Septum Or Visible Signs
One of the most obvious signs of a botched rhinoplasty are visible marks on the outside of the nose or a distorted result.
It is a clear sign that the surgeon either took off too much bone/cartilage or left the surgery underdone by not taking off enough of the nasal structure. That can include dents, grooves, or depressions on the nose, an elongated pointy tip, septum perforation, or hanging or retracted columella.
You stand a much higher chance of winning a compensation claim if these are the symptoms you are experiencing.
Too Much Bruising/Scarring
Although scarring is a risk of rhinoplasty, it is a rather slim one. A surgeon makes tiny cuts inside the nostrils, leaving scars that are not visible. Another approach entails making a cut along the columella, in which case any resultant scarring remains hidden and can only be spotted up close.
On the other hand, bruising ought to have cleared by the second-week post-surgery, leaving behind slight swelling that only you and your doctor will be able to spot, so if severe bruising lasts much longer or scarring is clearly visible, you may have grounds for a claim.
Pain is one of the body’s natural responses to surgery. In the case of rhinoplasty, it only lasts a few days and can be controlled with the aid of pain relievers prescribed by your doctor.
Therefore, should you still be suffering from weeks or months of severe pain following your surgery, this serves as a strong indicator that something is wrong.
Rhinoplasty Claims Steps To Take In The Case Of Negligence
If you are thinking of filing a rhinoplasty compensation claim, there are a couple of things you should know.
Firstly, you have to be completely free of blame. That means you must have religiously followed the instructed post-surgery care. For instance, you are forbidden to smoke or drink alcohol during recovery, since that can prolong swelling and slow down the healing process.
Secondly, there are strict post-op hygiene protocols to follow that are put in place to protect against skin infections and other avoidable complications. These may include regular re-dressing of the nose before splints come off and avoiding exposure to smoke or dust.
The final point is that you should wait until your nose completely heals before considering making a negligence claim. In some instances, soreness from surgery can cause excessive bruising or breathing issues, which tend to disappear after the nose heals.
Of course, this does not count in the case of severe outcomes such as protruding implants, heavy bleeding, or nasal collapse.
If after considering these three points, you still want to file a compensation claim, we suggest you proceed as follows.
1) Get A Second Medical Opinion
When unhappy with the result of your rhinoplasty, the natural reaction would be to go back to see your doctor. If your concerns go inadequately addressed, you should proceed to obtain a second (and even third) medical opinion, preferably from an expert cosmetic surgeon.
You stand a chance of making a successful rhinoplasty injury claim if another surgeon confirms that your doctor was negligent and made avoidable errors. Mistakes can range from the over resection of a part of the nose, to poorly made cuts during surgery.
Make it a point to get the independent surgeon to write you a thorough medical assessment.
2) Write Down A Detailed Account Of Events In Your Own Words
With a medical expert backing up your suspicion of negligence, you should proceed to write down your side of things.
Make sure to capture everything about your rhinoplasty operation, right from the initial consultations, through to the operation, to post-surgery visits, and your doctor’s reaction to raising your concerns.
The friend/family member who drove you to and from the hospital on the day of the surgery and any other people who were present during your recovery period can serve as witnesses, so ask then to note down what they observed etc.
3) Assemble All Medical Documents Related To The Rhinoplasty
Like with any surgery, your surgeon is required to gather details of your medical history and ask you to attend a pre-operative assessment several days in advance of your surgery date. This may involve routine medical tests and a discussion about your current health.
All this is essential for two reasons; first, to determine if you are a suitable candidate for a rhinoplasty; and secondly, to capture any possible complications that may arise from the surgery before they happen.
Make sure to have all this and any other medical documents concerning the rhinoplasty to hand before you file a negligence claim. Supporting paperwork will play a significant role during the proceedings of your case.
4) Acquire Before And After Photos
Another vital piece of evidence that you will need is photographs showing before and after images of the nose. Note that this is particularly important if you are claiming on the grounds of ‘undesired results’.
5) Talk To A Negligence Claim Solicitor
Since every case is different, only an expert medical negligence solicitor will be able to determine if your personal experience of rhinoplasty injury is likely to lead to a viable compensation claim.
Most solicitors offer free consultations where they listen to the specific details surrounding your particular situation and can then advise you on how to move forward.
What Qualifies For Compensation In Rhinoplasty Claims?
A rhinoplasty negligence claim is no different from a personal injury claim or any other medical-related negligence case. The compensation awarded covers the same categories, which include:
Include any form of physical impairment, suffering, or pain arising from a poorly done rhinoplasty. Any emotional/mental stress, anxiety, or anguish triggered by the rhinoplasty also falls under damages.
If you need a second rhinoplasty to reverse the results of the first one, then you can seek compensation for any of the two operations.
Your rhinoplasty injury claim can also seek reimbursement for several medical related costs. These can include expenses incurred for psychological treatment, hiring of a caregiver, hospital admission, and physiotherapy if required.
This includes money spent to attend medical appointments or court proceedings following a botched rhinoplasty.
Loss Of Income
Undergoing a rhinoplasty procedure should only require you to take a week or two off from work. So, if you have had to stay away from work longer than this due to a rhinoplasty gone wrong, any loss of earnings from your regular pay can be included in the claim.
Loss of income may also be extended to cover a reduction in earnings if you have to reduce your working hours, need to take on a lower paid job or have your employment terminated if directly related to the aftermath of the negligent rhinoplasty injuries.
General Guideline On Rhinoplasty Claim Compensation Amounts
Each and every rhinoplasty injury claim is different from the next, so it is not always possible to say how much compensation you could receive from a successful claim. However, compensation is quantified based on the severity of the damage, which may fall in the following classifications:
- Very Minor
- Highly Severe
- Medical Shortfalls
As you may expect, cases of severe damage that take a particularly long time to recover from or which cause a significant negative impact on the quality of life of the patient often receive the highest compensation amounts. In any case, any rhinoplasty injuries that are caused by the negligent actions of a surgeon should be considered a serious issue.
Get Help Starting Your Rhinoplasty Claim
If your rhinoplasty surgery has had unexpected complications that were no fault of your own you might be looking to make a Rhinplasty claim. Let us help. Speak to one of our claims advisors today, for a free, no obligation call to help you start your claim.
Our advisors are experienced in making medical negligence claims and we are regulated by the FCA.
At Claims-Compass.co.uk we make claiming for bothed rhinoplasty surgery easy and you can contact us today for a free, no obligation call to help you start your claim.