Plastic Surgery Expert Witnesses

We provide plastic surgery expert witnesses and court reports

What is a plastic surgeon?

A plastic surgeon repairs and reconstructs missing or damaged tissue and skin.  The main purpose of plastic surgery is to restore the function and appearance of tissue and skin to make it as close to normal as possible.

What is the difference with cosmetic surgery?

Many cosmetic surgeons are plastic surgeons by background but not all cosmetic surgeons are plastic surgeons.  For example, a breast augmentation operation may be carried out by a breast surgeon as well as a plastic surgeon.  Many plastic surgeons concentrate on repair and restoration of damaged tissue and skin; not all plastic surgeons choose to provide cosmetic surgery.

Why might you need to instruct a plastic surgeon as an expert witness?

As with any area of medicine, claims of clinical negligence may arise in plastic surgery.  For example, it may be claimed that a reconstructive procedure has failed or had an adverse outcome because of negligent practice.  Therefore, you may require a plastic surgeon expert witness to consider you case to establish injury, causation, and prognosis.  But plastic surgeon expert witnesses are not limited to cases of medical negligence.  Plastic surgeon expert witnesses may, for example, be instructed to assess scarring from an accident, assault or traumatic event.  Other common instructions include reports about burns and hand injuries.

What sorts of cases might a plastic surgeon expert witness take on?

A good example is clinical negligence arising from breast reconstruction following a mastectomy for breast cancer. Reconstruction following mastectomy is more complicated than breast augmentation procedures. Issues such as scarring and tissue health may affect the viability and choice of procedure. And, other considerations include appearance. Achieving a natural look is something which many women choose.  A natural appearance is often achieved using flap reconstruction where existing tissue is taken from a different area of the body to recreate the breast. This allows for a natural profile and realistic droop. In cases of unilateral (one-sided) mastectomies, flap reconstruction methods help to achieve balance with the remaining breast.

What can go wrong

Although these procedures achieve good reconstructive outcomes, there is, as with any procedure, room for things to go wrong. Some complications may be unavoidable and as such these are usually discussed thoroughly with the patient as part of the consent procedure.

However what about cases where complications arise from negligent practice? In these cases, a plastic surgeon expert witness will often be instructed to comment on the care received and whether any part of that care caused or contributed to the adverse outcome. For example, failure to check the condition of the pedicle vein after damage during surgery and failure to treat an associated haematoma may lead to the condition of a flap deteriorating. If such checks are not carried out, subsequent intervention may be too late and the flap may have to be removed. Negligent plastic surgery after the trauma of mastectomy for breast cancer is likely to cause emotional distress in most people, particularly if this affects the success or timeliness of further reconstruction, and particularly if further scarring is caused.

Breast reconstruction

Other examples include:

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Personal injury
  • Post-operative scarring
  • Burns
  • Traumatic wounds
  • Hand injuries

What plastic surgery experts does Expert Court Reports have?

We have an experienced and well-respected plastic surgeon expert witness who works on our panel.  Mr Jeremy Birch is a consultant plastic surgeon at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.  He has a specialist interest in breast reconstruction and the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.  Mr Birch does not accept instructions relating to claims of medical negligence following cosmetic surgery procedures.  As with all our experts, Mr Birch will only take a case which falls safely into his area of expertise.  This is the mark of a good and reliable expert witness.

Why use Expert Court Reports?

A good plastic surgery expert witness should come with years’ of plastic surgery practice as well as specific competencies to act as an expert witness.  Look for someone who has established expert witness experience.  Our plastic surgery expert witness, Mr Jeremy Birch, has many years of experience as a plastic surgeon and has been writing medico-legal expert witness reports for over 10 years.

How quickly can you provide a report?

At Expert Court Reports Ltd, we understand the pressures of the legal profession.  We recognise that litigation is subject to defined timescales and for this reason, we will be as flexible and accommodating as we are able to be.  However, we pride ourselves on not promising work that cannot be reliably delivered within a given timescale.  The quality of the evidence which is provided by our experts is subject to review and scrutiny.  All expert reports are subject to a detailed and robust proofreading process to ensure that our expert evidence is accurate and expertly formatted.

Jeremy Birch

Instructing Mr Birch

If you would like to find out more about how Mr Birch can assist in your legal matter, please call us on 01865 587865, email office@expertcourtreports.co.uk, or request a call by completing our online form.

Contact us