Cosmetic Surgery Claims For Medical Negligence

Have you suffered avoidable injuries while having cosmetic treatment due to medical negligence? This article will discuss the eligibility criteria for making a medical negligence claim because of substandard cosmetic surgery that caused you preventable suffering. 

cosmetic surgery claims medical negligence

We’ll be looking at how you could make a medical negligence claim to get the compensation you deserve. Furthermore, we’ll be guiding you through the types of damages you could claim in compensation. 

Additionally, it’s important to note that the claim you put forward must be valid. For that reason, evidence will be required to support your claim of medical negligence. Our guide will be exploring the various types of evidence you’ll need and how they may help to prove negligence occurred.

Furthermore, if you’re apprehensive about having a solicitor represent you due to the legal costs, we’ll be providing you with information on a No Win No Fee agreement. We’ll explain what this means in further detail and how it could benefit you further down in our guide.

If you require further clarification on anything whilst reading you can contact us using the details below:

Alternatively, continue reading to find out more about making cosmetic surgery negligence claims against a medical professional.

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Negligent Cosmetic Surgery Claim?
  2. What Is Cosmetic Surgery?
  3. Negligent Cosmetic Surgery
  4. Causes Of Negligent Cosmetic Surgery
  5. Risks Of Cosmetic And Plastic Surgery
  6. Risks Of Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures
  7. How Long Do You Have To Make Negligent Cosmetic Surgery Claims?
  8. Calculating Negligent Cosmetic Surgery Claims
  9. No Win No Fee Negligent Cosmetic Surgery Claims
  10. Talk To Our Team
  11. The Latest UK Cosmetic Surgery Statistics
  12. Resources
  13. FAQs About Cosmetic Surgery Claims

What Is A Negligent Cosmetic Surgery Claim?

Whenever we need or choose to have medical treatment, we are required to put our trust in medical professionals who have a duty of care to us.

With that being said, it’s not unreasonable to expect to receive the correct standard of care that does not cause avoidable suffering. 

If you are provided with a poor standard of care while having cosmetic procedures this could lead to you suffering harm that you would not have otherwise experienced.

In the case of cosmetic surgery, this might have been caused by any of the following examples, such as:

  • Wrong procedure carried out
  • Preventable organ damage during surgery

However, these are only a few examples. A valid cosmetic surgery medical negligence claim takes the form of the surgeon acting negligently and causing harm that should not have happened. 

If you’re looking to claim for something similar but are unsure if negligence occurred, our advisors are available to help. Contact us on the number above for more information. 

Otherwise, continue reading for more information on who may be eligible to make a cosmetic surgery medical negligence claim. 

What Is Cosmetic Surgery?

A cosmetic procedure is usually one that someone may choose to have in order to improve or change their appearance. There are some cosmetic procedures that are non-surgical such as botox or derma fillers. 

However, cosmetic surgery involves a surgical procedure that must be performed by a medically trained professional. Additionally, although these operations may be chosen by the patient, the correct standard of care is still owed to them. 

The term covers a broad range of procedures that may be performed on various parts of the body. Some examples of cosmetic surgical procedures might include:

  • Breast alterations including reduction and enlargement for both males and females
  • Facelift 
  • Hair transplant
  • Nose job – Rhinoplasty 
  • Liposuction
  • Eyelid surgery
  • Ear correction surgery

What if my cosmetic surgery went wrong due to NHS negligence?

In some circumstances, cosmetic surgery may be recommended for medical purposes and isn’t purely focused on making alterations to a person’s appearance.

For cases such as these, your surgery may have been performed through an NHS service. If so, NHS doctors or nurses are expected to provide the correct standard of care to all patients just as any other medical professional.

There are certain procedures that may be available under the NHS, usually if the procedure is need for psychological or other issues that could be alleviated with cosmetic surgery.

For example, breast reduction surgery may be performed to alleviate pressure on a woman’s back. Or a nose job may be performed to correct a deviated septum and allow you to breathe more easily. 

Additionally, reconstructive or plastic surgery may be available under the NHS. This might include procedures such as reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy which is usually used as a treatment option for breast cancer.

If any of these procedures are not carried out within professional standards, injuries could occur that may affect a patient both physically and psychologically.

See below for how a surgeon could be negligent during a cosmetic procedure.

Negligent Cosmetic Surgery

Every qualified medical professional is expected to do everything reasonably possible to protect you from coming to avoidable harm. 

Cosmetic surgeons need to be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) and have the correct license to perform cosmetic as well as other procedures.  

Additionally, any medical institution offering surgical procedures should be registered with Care Quality Control (CQC) as they regulate any cosmetic treatment that involves surgery.

Negligent cosmetic surgery can come in the form of suffering injuries or illnesses during or shortly after the surgery because the surgical team deviated from professional standards. If a poor standard of care caused your injuries during your cosmetic surgery this may mean the surgeon treating you or the private practice is liable for your suffering.

Furthermore, you may have suffered psychologically due to the poor results of the procedure. For instance, if the surgery went drastically wrong causing unsightly scarring or disfigurement this could have an effect on your mental well being. This would be another reason to make a cosmetic surgery negligence claim.

Causes Of Negligent Cosmetic Surgery

There are various ways this could occur. For instance:

  • Using a defective product e.g. implants
  • Using the wrong tools during the operation
  • Providing poor aftercare 
  • Not explaining the risks of any procedure 
  • Failing to check medical history to ensure the surgery is suitable 

It is important to know why your procedure went wrong in order to prove whether negligence occurred. For more information on the types of evidence that may help, see further down in our guide. 

Risks Of Cosmetic And Plastic Surgery

As with many surgical procedures, there are risks that come along with them. Even if a surgeon did everything they could to prevent you from coming to harm, there is a chance of certain things not going as expected.  

However, your surgeon should make you aware of all the risks before getting your consent to perform the surgery. If they fail to do so and something goes wrong that you weren’t aware of, this could be negligence. For instance, if you would have chosen not to have the surgery had you known the risks, this is harm that could have been avoided had your surgeon made you aware. 

Additionally, your surgeon should take all the necessary precautions to ensure the chance of those risks is kept to a minimum. For instance, through the correct pre-operative checks to ensure you’re suitable for the surgery and don’t have an unusually high risk of the surgery going wrong. 

There are various risks that you should consider when deciding whether or not to go ahead with your cosmetic procedure. For instance:

  • The psychological impact you may face if it doesn’t turn out how you expected 
  • The possibility that it may not be a one-off procedure and could be costly in the long run to maintain the effects of the procedure
  • Hematoma may be a risk with facelift surgeries 
  • Seroma may be a risk with tummy tuck surgeries
  • Blood loss
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage or nerve injuries that could inflict permanent damage
  • Blood clots
  • Damage to internal organs may be a risk with liposuction
  • Scarring that doesn’t heal the way it normally does 
  • Complications with anaesthesia 

Risks Of Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures

Non-surgical cosmetic procedures are not regulated in the same way as surgical procedures. For instance, the CQC states that it doesn’t regulate any procedures that don’t involve cutting or inserting instruments or equipment into the body. This includes the following:

  • Botox
  • Chemical peels
  • Derma fillers
  • Laser hair removal

Additionally, there are certain procedures in which you don’t need to be medically trained to perform. However, if the person administering the procedure has had medical training then they have the same duty of care as any other medical professional and are therefore expected to provide the correct standard of care too. 

If this standard of care isn’t provided by the medical professional carrying out the procedure on you, it’s possible you could make a claim for medical negligence. 

The Latest UK Cosmetic Surgery Statistics

According to the British Association of Aesthetic Surgeons (BAAPS), there were a total of 21,174 of the top cosmetic procedures performed on men and women in 2020. 

The graph below shows the top surgeries that people had done during 2020. As you can see, breast augmentation was the most popular. However, additional figures comparing the figures from 2020 to those in 2019 show that this was down 32%. 

Additionally, the biggest difference in figures was for liposuction procedures which saw a 33% drop from 2019. 

cosmetic surgery statistics

The figures are provided by the BAAPS Annual Audit. 

How Long Do You Have To Make Negligent Cosmetic Surgery Claims?

When making a medical negligence claim, there are time limits to consider. Generally, though, you have three years. This may either be from the date the incident in which you suffered avoidable harm occurred or the date you gained enough knowledge that a medical professional’s negligence caused or contributed to your injuries.  

However, there are a few exceptions in which the three years may not directly apply. 

If the person is under 18 years of age, one of two things could happen. Firstly, the three-year time limit is frozen until they turn 18 and during this time a parent, guardian or solicitor may be able to claim on behalf of them by acting as a litigation friend. 

Secondly, if no one claims on their behalf, they have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to claim for themselves. 

Additionally, the three-year time limit is frozen for anyone who may lack the mental capacity to claim for themselves. During this time, a claim may be made on their behalf by  a litigation friend. However, if there is a chance they may regain their mental capacity, the three years will restart from the date of their recovery. 

If they are unable to regain their mental capacity, the three years will be frozen indefinitely. 

Calculating Negligent Cosmetic Surgery Claims

Compensation for any cosmetic surgery claims may be made up of general damages which cover the pain and suffering you’ve endured as a direct result of your injury.

This includes the physical and psychological damage you’ve experienced. As well as the impact the injury has had on your quality of life. 

In addition, you could claim for any past and future financial losses that have built up because of your injury. For instance, lost or reduced earnings if the injury has prevented you from working. Or care costs if the injury has affected your ability to care for yourself.

Evidence will be required for both to support your claim. For general damages, medical evidence will be needed to show the state of the injuries and prove whether negligence occurred. This might include medical documents detailing your history of appointments, symptoms and treatments.

Furthermore, you will require evidence to claim any additional damages. For instance, payslips for any lost earnings and receipts for any other losses. 

For more information on building a valid claim with various types of evidence, contact our team on the number above. 

How much could I claim?

The table below provides an idea of how much your injury may be awarded. The figures for the injuries listed in the table are based on the Judicial College guidelines. This is a document that may be used to value claims alongside an additional medical assessment you may be invited to. 

The additional medical assessment may provide an additional medical report about your injuries. It may help to prove negligence occurred. 

Facial DisfigurementVery severe scarring that causes a severe psychological reaction£27,940 to £91,350
Facial DisfigurementLess severe scarring that causes a significant psychological reaction£16,860 to £45,440
Facial DisfigurementSignificant scarring that caused an initial considerable psychological reaction but may have improved over time and the physical scarring could be helped with plastic surgery £8,550 to £28,240
Facial DisfigurementLess significant scarring which includes scars that can be covered up or multiple small scars£3,710 to £12,900
Facial DisfigurementTrivial scarring which includes injuries that cause a minor effect£1,600 to £3,310
Post-traumatic stress disorderLess severe: This includes circumstances where a full recovery is made within two years but some minor symptoms may cause an ongoing issue £3,710 to £7,680

As there are various factors considered when valuing a claim, including the different severities of your injuries, the figures should only be used as a guide. 

For more information, call our team on the number above and they’ll be happy to help. 

No Win No Fee Negligent Cosmetic Surgery Claims

A No Win No Fee agreement could allow you to have an experienced medical negligence solicitor represent you without worrying about paying up-front fees. 

For instance, if the solicitor does not win your case you won’t pay solicitor fees. Additionally, you won’t pay upfront costs.

If your solicitor does win, this means you’ll get the compensation you deserve. You’ll need to pay a small success fee but this is capped and may be agreed on with your solicitor before putting forward your claim.

Most importantly, your solicitor will be experienced in handling cases similar to your own and can guide you through each step of your claim. 

If this is something you’re interested in, you can get in touch with our team for more details on the number above. 

Talk To Our Team 

We hope you’ve found our guide on cosmetic surgery claims informative. Although we’ve aimed to cover as much information for you, we understand that you may still have questions. 

No matter whether these are questions regarding the evidence required, the duty of care you may have been owed or understanding whether negligence occurred during your incident. Our advisors are available to answer any questions you may have and provide further clarification on anything you’re unsure of. 

Additionally, they can assess whether you have a valid claim. If they feel it has a chance of succeeding, they may connect you with a medical negligence solicitor to talk you through the next steps you may need to take. 

However, the most important thing to remember is that we want to help you understand how to build a valid claim so you can get one step closer to getting the compensation you deserve. 

For more information, contact us on the following details:


Have you suffered a negligent facelift surgery? If so, our guide on making a compensation claim for the pain and suffering you’ve endured could help.

If your liposuction surgery went wrong due to negligence and you suffered further harm, our guide could help. 

For more information on how to claim compensation for a negligent laser eye surgery operation, see our guide. 

For more information on the standards of care for cosmetic surgery, see the Royal College of Surgeons of England

See the NHS for any medical advice on cosmetic procedures. 

Visit the General Medical Council for more information on their role in regulating medically trained professionals. 

FAQs About Cosmetic Surgery Claims

In this section, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions regarding cosmetic surgery compensation claims. 

Can I sue my cosmetic surgeon?

If your surgeon has breached their duty of care and caused you harm as a result, you may be able to make a claim against them. However, evidence will be required. 

How much compensation do you get for medical negligence UK?

There is no average compensation amount for medical negligence claims as it depends on the specific injury you’re claiming for and the severity of the injury. 

What comes under cosmetic surgery?

In a cosmetic surgery claim, you could be awarded compensation for any avoidable injury and any financial losses incurred as a result of the avoidable injury caused by medical negligence. 

Thank you for reading our guide on cosmetic surgery claims. We hope you found it useful. 

Guide by Megan

Edited by LisM.