Our client wanted to have fuller lips that would be proportional to her other facial features. She had undergone lip filler injections before and was familiar with the process. She went to a med spa for a maintenance injection. The persona performing her cosmetic procedure was a physician assistant that worked at the med spa. This procedure has a risk of vascular occlusion, which results in filler compressing an artery or blood vessel and blocking blood flow. Therefore, good knowledge of the facial anatomy and an appropriate amount of filler are two key factors in performing the procedure safely. If too much filler is administered, a product dissolvent must be available on hand to immediately dissolve the filler.
The injector performing the lip filler procedure on our client used a full syringe of dermal filler in our client’s upper lip. Within hours of the procedure, the skin around our client’s upper lip became discolored and began to hurt. Our client reported the situation immediately to her injector, but the injector did not act appropriately. She told our client to wait a few days because she did not have a dermal filler dissolvent available. By the time she got the dissolvent, our client tissue around the injection had lost blood and oxygen, causing necrosis. She was in a lot of pain and looked disfigured. The injury took months to heal after the product was finally dissolved.
Our attorney reviewed the medical records, discussed the case with a medical consultant who was knowledgeable about the proper administration of dermal filler and post-injury protocols. Based on the attorney’s investigation, it was evident that the injector was liable for the client’s injuries. We proceeded with a formal medical malpractice pre-suit procedure which included similar steps that must be followed in litigation. Our attorney requested documents, conducted an unsworn statement of the injector, defended the unsworn statement of the client, and negotiated a resolution with the defendant.
In this case, it was particularly challenging to negotiate with the defendant because she did not believe that she did anything wrong. She was reluctant to settle the case because she did not want to report the settlement to the Florida Department of Health, which requires healthcare providers to report any high-dollar settlements of medical malpractice claims. Her attorney defended her position aggressively, despite the clear evidence of wrongdoing.
Due to our attorney’s continued efforts in negotiation, the parties settled the case in pre-suit. Our client obtained fair compensation for her injuries without enduring a long and painful litigation process.
The entire medical malpractice pre-suit process took approximately six months.
Less is more. In this case, the injury occurred because the cosmetic procedure provider over-injected the patient with too much filler. Unfortunately, we at LOU LAW see this happen too often. Providers who are focused on upselling cosmetic products and procedures forget that too much product can injure their patients. In this case, the patient could have avoided the lip filler injury if less filler was used.