Can I sue for the cost of a breast augmentation following a faulty reduction?
Question Details: About 2 months ago, I received a breast reduction through my insurance company. Following healing of the surgery, I reported to my surgeon multiple times something was wrong with my right breast. It didn't feel right and didn't look right; it was with much more swollen. She ignored all of my requests to get treatment besides giving me an antibiotic which she took me off of early. She refused to help me in anyway. I had to go to the doctor on my own volition and get an ultrasound and found a hematoma. I had it drained at a specialist's office, 100 ml of blood. It has a deformed my breast and it is now very odd shaped. I'm wondering if I can sue for money for a breast augmentation to fix my breast because my surgeon was ignoring all of my requests for treatment and I had to seek medical help on my own.
It depends upon whether, at the time you reported the issue to your surgeon, that based on your symptoms, the circumstances (right after surgery), the appearance of the breast, etc. it would seem to a reasonably competent doctor that all you needed was an antibiotic--or whether it seem that you needed more. Doctors are not liable simply for being wrong: the law accepts that medicine is not perfect, and sometimes doctors make a reasonable decision or provide reasonable treatment that does not work out. Rather, doctors are liable if they do not do what then-current medical practice or standards says they should do; that is, when they are not as careful or competent as a reasonable doctor is expected to be.
Also, it must be the case that the defective medical care caused harm; if harm would have occured no matter what, so that the medical care did not cause you injury or costs, then there is no malpractice, since for there to be malpractice, there must a causal link between the defective care and the harm.
So only if you believe, based on other medical advice or opinions (e.g. from that specialist you mention) that the care from your surgeon was defective/careless and that it caused you problem, would you have a medical malpractice case. If you did, you could likely recover the cost of corrective surgery.