Nose surgeon malpractice - choose or not to choose?

I found a nose Dr who seemed really experienced and skilled. This Dr is board certified by American Board of Plastic Surgery and American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and is well known locally and I liked the consultation. However, I found out a medical malpractice case against this doctor but I don't know the details and results at all. This Dr is about mid-50 and the case happened back in 1999. Should I choose this Dr ?

Doctor Answers 9


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That single, old med mal case should have no bearing on all the good attributes that  you detailed. Medical malpractice is mostly nonsense. Though, there are some legitimate injuries and claims. If you picked up 25 cases against one rhinoplastic surgeon, I'd be concerned.

Great Neck Plastic Surgeon

Malpractice suit does not constitute bad surgeon

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I have several trial lawyers in my family. Here's how it works in California. Anyone a surgeon touches can sue him or her. If there is one penny paid out, whether it be in mediation, arbitration or even full on lawsuit, it has to get reported. This does not necessarily mean that the surgeon is admitting fault, in fact it is often at the behest of the surgeon's malpractice insurance company. Let's face it, malpractice insurance is in the business of limiting their liability so if they can get their client to give the plaintiff a small amount of money to go away, it potentially limits how much money they have to pay out later (including defense lawyer fees which can end up way more expensive than any payout). 
Please do not walk away from a potentially gifted surgeon just because of something from almost 20 years ago. You certainly should feel comfortable asking him about it and giving him a chance to explain. 

Lily Lee, MD
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Nose surgeon

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Unfortunately, malpractice claims can happen to the best of the surgeons.  It seems like you liked your interaction with your doctor.  I would recommend that you ask him/her about the claim;  I'm sure you will get an honest answer.  Good luck!

Sunny Park, MD, MPH
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Nose surgeon and malpractice case

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 Hi and thanks for your great great question. Unfortunately malpractice cases are a fact of life for busy plastic surgeons. I would speak with the surgeon who would be happy to discuss honestly this malpractice case which occurred in the 1990s. No one who has a busy practice today is exempt from  The realities of lawsuits. The most important decision you can make is choosing a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable. Your surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. That is my best advice after 30 years performing aesthetic plastic surgery. Best of luck! 

Richard Chaffoo, MD,FACS,FICS
Triple Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Nose surgeon malpractice - choose or not to choose?

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Most physicians, who have been in practice for over 15 years, will have experienced a malpractice claim against their practice.  This does not necessarily mean that their care or qualifications are substandard.  If you are concerned about this case, contact your county superior court and ask for the records of this case.  If the claim was made over 15 years ago, the case would have had to have been adjudicated, settled or dismissed.  If you have difficulty finding the information, you are free to ask your surgeon about the legal aspects of the case.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Malpractice suit

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Tha chief of my plastic surgery program used to say if you have never had a malpractice suit you are not operating enough.  It is Murphy's law!

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Nose surgeon malpractice

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 There are many parameters to look at when choosing a rhinoplasty surgeon which include the experience and skill, their  rhinoplasty before and after photo gallery, board certification, and whether or not you trust that surgeon. Make a secondary consultation with the surgeon to ask about the specifics of that malpractice case.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Nose Surgeon with Malpractice

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Dear trapezehealth, I would suggest scheduling a secondary consultation and ask the surgeon your concerns regarding the malpractice suit. I am sure he/she will be happy to explain the allegations. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 214 reviews

Nose surgeon malpractice - choose or not to choose?

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If you like this doctor, ask him about the malpractice issue.  Most board certified plastic surgeons will answer your question and tell you the truth.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.