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Plastic Surgery Medical Practices: What You Need to Know

Posted on August 16, 2021

The market for plastic surgery is booming. In 2020, there were 2.3 million cosmetic surgery procedures and 13.2 million cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures, for a grand total of 15.5 million cosmetic procedures performed. While this number is down from 2020 due to the forced cancellations of elective procedures during the height of the pandemic, this is still up 131% since the year 2000.[1]

Moreover, demand is continuing to soar. According to a survey from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 11% of women are more interested in cosmetic plastic surgery or a non-surgical procedure now than prior to the pandemic. Among women who have already had a cosmetic procedure in the past, the percent interested in another procedure rose to 24%. Additionally, among the women who have previously had a cosmetic procedure, 35% of them plan to spend significantly or somewhat more in 2021 on cosmetic procedures than they did last year. [2]  

As the number of potential patients increase, it’s important to keep in mind these three tips to help manage your liability:

Screening

  • Carefully screen potential patients to ensure they are good candidates, both physically and psychologically. Physically, they should be at a low risk for experiencing severe procedure-related side effects. Psychologically, they should have realistic expectations of how the surgery will impact their life (e.g. a rhinoplasty may make them feel better about their appearance, but will not help them find a spouse). Having a realistic perspective of how the procedure will impact their life can help to reduce the likelihood of a post-procedure lawsuit.

Ethical Marketing Practices

  • Plastic surgery is a competitive market and potential patients are likely scrutinizing your website, social media, print ads, and any other forms of communication that you use to learn as much as possible about you. It may be tempting to make grandiose claims, but that can be a recipe for a lawsuit. According to the Federal Trade Commission, all advertising must be truthful and must be backed-up by evidence. The ad also cannot contain any information that can be considered to be deceptive. This includes both the information that is in the ad and any information that you chose not to include in the ad but would be materially important for a potential patient to know. To minimize your advertising liability, it is best to have an experienced healthcare law attorney review your ads and patient communications before you release them. 

Clear Communication and Documentation

  • Discuss the risks of the procedure so patients can make an educated decision if this procedure is right for them. Avoid using jargon and make sure they understand any complex concepts or terms. Document this conversation in your patient file as well as have the patient sign an informed consent document. Proper documentation is an essential part of a successful malpractice lawsuit defense.

This is truly a great time to be in the cosmetic procedures business. Patients want to look their best as they emerge in the post-pandemic world. Taking the time to minimize your practice’s risk for a lawsuit is a smart business strategy that allows you to focus your time on your patients.

ECanter Lawyers

Healthcare business owners as well as physicians face unique regulations as they form, purchase or sell practices or ancillary businesses. At ECanter Lawyers, we have the necessary legal expertise to properly assist clients with the purchase or sale of medical-related practices in Florida. In addition, our firm assists with the drafting, review, and the negotiation process of medical and healthcare related contracts, including: 

  • Entity Formation
  • Structural Compliance
  • Ownership Documents
  • Medical Directorships
  • Sales & Purchases – Space Leases
  • Buy-ins & Buy-outs

561-447-4500

Boca Raton | West Palm Beach | Coral Springs | Ft. Lauderdale | Miami


[1] American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. Accessed June 28, 2021.

[2] American Society of Plastic Surgeons. American Society of Plastic Surgeons Unveils COVID-19’s Impact and Pent-Up Patient Demand Fueling the Industry’s Current Post-Pandemic Boom | ASPS (plasticsurgery.org). Accessed June 28. 2021.

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