After a 5-day trial in a judge alone case, the Court found in favour of a young woman who was left scarred after cosmetic surgery. This medical malpractice case addressed two issues: 1) the standard of care expected of a surgeon practicing cosmetic surgery in Ontario and 2) whether the Surgeon failed to adequately advise the plaintiff of material risks and thereby performed the surgery without informed consent.
The case mainly dealt with an abdominoplasty that resulted in a significant scar across the plaintiff’s abdomen. In a normal abdominoplasty, the incision takes place at a much lower level. The usual intent of the surgery is to have the scar below the bikini line, so that it can be hidden by underwear or a bathing suit.
The incision in this case was directly around the belly button. As a result, there was a very prominent scar that did not improve the plaintiff’s appearance. A second surgery had to take place to improve the appearance, but significant scarring remained.
The Court found that the Plaintiff would not have consented to the procedure if she was properly informed of the location, size, and visibility of the scar. The court also found that performing the surgeon in this location was below the standard of care of a cosmetic surgeon practicing in Ontario.
The Plaintiff was awarded damages, interest and costs.