Medical Negligence

Cosmetic clinic agrees damages settlement for woman left with ‘weeping burn’ after laser surgery on veins

cosmetic surgery medical negligence claim

Michelle Nurse


5 min read time

A woman has been awarded damages of £3,000 after she was left with a large and deep burn on her leg following laser vein removal surgery.

Kathryn Wilson, 30, of Somerset, underwent the treatment at a cosmetic clinic in September of last year.

She says she was given some ‘terms and conditions’ to read prior to her surgery, which happened on the same day she had visited the clinic for a consultation, referring to possible effects such as skin pigmentation, swelling, itching and blistering.

But having suffered a burn two inches wide and an inch deep, which did not improve over the following weeks, she called the clinic to complain and was told the laser must have been used at too high an intensity.

She said the clinic apologised for the error and refunded her for the surgery, offering treatment to attempt to heal the wound.

However, Mrs Wilson says she had lost all confidence in the clinic as a result and sought legal advice, turning to Hudgell Solicitors for support.

A legal case was filed on her behalf, alleging negligence in failing to use reasonable care and skill in the technical execution of the laser treatment, and for not conducting a patch test prior to the procedure to determine what precise grade of laser should have been used.

Surgery was carried out immediately after consultation

Mrs Wilson says she had previously attended two beauty clinics locally to discuss laser surgery, each of which conducted patch tests, but decided upon the clinic she used as it was led by an experienced GP.

“I guess I was a bit more relaxed with it being a clinic and run by a GP with many years’ experience, so when I had my consultation and they said the surgery could be done that day, I had no concerns and didn’t worry about the lack of patch test. I just assumed the GP knew what he was doing as he did it so often,” she said.

“It was painful during the procedure, but I was expecting that, and I have a high pain threshold anyway, so I didn’t have any real concerns immediately afterwards, despite being a bit shocked at how big the burn was.

“It was the weeks after, when it didn’t get any better that I was worried. It was really sore and weeping. I was having to change my clothes all the time and at work and at home with my leg elevated.

“It was then that I called the clinic back and the doctor was very apologetic and said he must have had the laser set too high. I appreciated his honesty and his apology, but I was angry.

“I didn’t want to go back to him for any treatment on it and so I started legal proceedings as I expected it to be costly to treat.”

Legal case alleged breach of duty of care and ended in an out of court settlement

Following legal representation by Michelle Nurse, of Hudgell Solicitors’ medical negligence compensation team, damages of £3,000 were agreed out of court.

Ms Nurse said: “We were pleased to be able to secure damages in this case for Mrs Wilson as it has been a really difficult time for her.

“The injury has taken a long time to heal and even now she is not able to undergo any correction surgery as she has been told it will be another year until her skin is resistant enough.

“It is essential for any type of laser surgery that a patch test is performed, usually after a consultation, and having provided your medical history and details of any medications being taken.

“A patch test should also be performed several days before full treatment. Any suggestion of treatment before a patch test has been done should be an alarm bell for any patient, no matter how qualified or experienced the health professional is.

“It is also a requirement to ensure a patient is fully informed over the potential consequences of any surgery. That means that the health professional must be certain that the patient has fully understood all possibilities and alternative treatment options.

“It is not suffice to hand someone a sheet of terms and conditions and not give them proper time to read and digest it, and discuss it thoroughly.

“Procedures like this cannot be allowed to become a one in, one out stream. Procedures and standards must always be followed and met.”

Mrs Wilson says she still struggles day to day with the burn on her leg, especially in hot weather.

awarded damages of Our client was left with a large and deep burn following laser treatment.

She added: “I’ve been told by my doctor that I need to keep my leg out of the sun due to the sensitivity, and to be honest, I don’t like wearing shorts or skirts because there is still a purple discolouration that I am conscious of.

“I’ve been told it will likely be there for life unless I have it treated, but of course I am nervous about that now. It is something I’ll have to consider when the skin is strong enough again.”

If you’re unhappy with the service provided by your cosmetic surgeon or have suffered ongoing pain and complications, you could be eligible to make a no win no fee cosmetic surgery claim.

We’ve helped thousands to secure compensation for cosmetic surgery claims, holding plastic surgeons to account for substandard treatment which has caused physical and emotional pain.

Read more: Cosmetic Surgery Negligence

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