There are occasions when the skills of a good cosmetic surgeon are vital in reconstructive surgery, after an accident for example, but more commonly elective operations are conducted for aesthetic reasons. When cosmetic surgery goes well, it can transform a life but when it goes wrong, it can all too easily ruin one.

The damage caused by unsuccessful cosmetic surgery may not be just physical and financial, it can cause psychological harm too. Some people find it difficult to even talk about what happened let alone make cosmetic surgery claims. This is unsurprising given the elective nature of the treatment which has been received.

Legal claims can arise from cosmetic surgery and non-surgical cosmetic (beauty) treatments if they are performed poorly and result in injury. Injuries sustained can include a poor outcome, allergic reaction, serious infection, scarring and, sometimes, the need for further surgery.

A cosmetic surgeon or practitioner is negligent if the treatment he or she provides falls below an acceptable standard and that negligent treatment causes injury. British law imposes a certain standard of care but that standard can be a matter of individual medical judgement.

No amount of compensation can make up for the distress or disfigurement caused by substandard cosmetic treatment and often patients also want an explanation and apology after they have put their trust in a surgeon or beauty practitioner in anticipation of a successful outcome.