The Claimant (“C”), a 36 years old woman, received  £70,500 for scarring to her face and a psychological reaction following cosmetic surgery in December 2000. C suffered unsightly scarring behind both her ears and her skin was puckered around her eyelids.

C attended a private clinic for a consultation with a Surgeon (D) in respect of undergoing facial cosmetic surgery.

C asked about the risks of the surgery and the D informed her that the operation was safe. She was shown photographs of people after similar surgery.  The photographs did not show any visible scarring.  

In December 2000  C was admitted and was informed that any scarring would not be seen as it would be behind her ears. After the operation C suffered severe facial swelling and was in extreme pain. She underwent another four operations to alter the scarring.  

C made a claim against the D alleging that the surgeon had failed to advise her properly about the positioning and extent of the scarring, especially since she was a smoker, failed to tighten the deeper layers of the skin, failed to remove fat from underneath her chin, failed to carry out correct stitching, failed to correct the results of the operation or refer her to a more experienced surgeon when the first attempt to revise the surgery did not work. 

Liability was admitted.  

Following the surgery, C suffered severe swelling of her face and pain. A few days after the surgery,  the wounds around her eyes had come open and she had scarring above her ears a couple of months after the surgery. C also had  puckering and puffiness at the edges of her eyes and a lump on her face at the side.  Over a period of 20 months between 2001 and 2002 the C attended the D on 13 occasions for treatment which ranged from putting steri-strips where the wounds at the side of her eyes had opened, more stitching and surgery for scar-revision.  

C , unsurprisingly, suffered from depression, was unable to go to work and was on anti-depressants.  

Prognosis: C would require more surgery in the future to try and correct the problems. 

Out of the settlement figure £26,800 was allocated to C’s pain and suffering and £43,700 for loss of earnings and medical treatment.

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