All doctors have a duty of care that they have to abide by, and their patients need to feel secure in the knowledge that they are being treated by competent professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job. This is true whether the doctor in question is a general practitioner, a podiatrist, an anesthesiologist… or a plastic surgeon.
Even if you choose to undergo plastic surgery for purely cosmetic reasons, you are legally guaranteed a certain level of care. You don’t expect to spend months in the hospital or need additional, medically necessary surgeries later.
Unfortunately, that is precisely what happened to two women who went in to Dr. Osak Omulepo’s office in May 2015 for Brazilian Butt Lifts. The procedure is commonly done to give people a larger and firmer backside. Fat is removed from the stomach or back (similar to liposuction) and is injected into the butt. Brazilian Butt Lifts are typically an in-and-out procedure, but medical errors led to the two women in question spending time at the hospital for months afterward.
During one of her multiple trips to the hospital four months after her surgery, Nyosha Fowler learned that Omulepo had punctured her colon and fluid was leaking into her abdominal cavity. She ended up in a coma for 28 days.
While in the hospital, Fowler’s mother confronted Dr. Omulepo, who said his instrument “cuts through muscle and fat like butter” and could have contributed to Fowler’s injuries.
Then there was Donna McRae. She had her surgery with Omulepo on the same day as Nyosha Fowler. During one of her hospital stays after the surgery, doctors discovered she had several punctures in her liver, damages in her chest, and damages in her abdominal wall.
Dr. Omulepo wasn’t just having an off day on May 15, either. Four women eventually came forward with complaints about the plastic surgeon, and he ultimately faced nine counts of violating standard of care and not documenting medical records properly after allegations were made.
On January 6, 2017, Omulepo was found guilty of six counts of medical malpractice. The judge recommended that he face probation, reprimands from the Florida Board of Medicine, and $14,000 in fines.
12.7% of Plastic Surgeons Face Malpractice Suits Every Year
Now, this story is unusual because it involves multiple women getting their organ punctured on the same day. However, a plastic surgeon getting sued for medical malpractice isn’t out of the ordinary. Quite the opposite. In fact, an astounding 12.7% of plastic surgeons face malpractice suits each year.
As mentioned above, medical malpractice can be committed by any medical professional, but certain specialty doctors face more complaints and suits than others. The doctors who get sued the most include:
- Plastic surgeons
- Orthopedic surgeons
- General surgeons
- Thoracic-cardiovascular surgeons
That list is in ascending order, meaning that neurosurgeons face the most medical malpractice suits each year. Almost 1 in 5 neurosurgeons (19.09%, to be exact) face a medical malpractice claim every year.
What Does This Mean for You?
These statistics may scare you if you’re heading into surgery, but could possibly reassure you if you suffered an injury or medical condition after an appointment with a surgeon or other doctor.
If you suspect your doctor of committing malpractice or errors, you should report them. Medical malpractice isn’t common, but it does happen, and when it happens, you should come forward. A medical malpractice suit may prevent a shoddy doctor from injuring more patients.
For more information on how to determine whether or not your doctor committed malpractice, and how you can file a lawsuit to get justice for your illness or injury, contact a Florida personal injury lawyer.
About the Author:
Steven Slootsky is a 1985 graduate of Nova Law School, which means he’s been a practicing Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer for more than 2 decades. He founded the Law Offices of Slootsky, Perez & Braxton in 1991. The Fort Lauderdale-based accident attorney is a member of the Florida Bar, as well as the Federal Bar for the Southern District for the U.S. District Court. During his career as a personal injury lawyer/auto accident compensation attorney, Steven has served as the co-chair of the Workers’ Compensation section for Broward County, Florida. He is also a Bronze member of the Florida Workers Advocates, a former member of the board, and serves as an “Eagle” member of the Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers.