Woman in agony because of tummy tuck complications.

Have you ever wished for your body to look different? Maybe you’ve hoped for a sleeker, more toned stomach? That’s what thousands of Americans try to achieve each year with tummy tuck surgery. A tummy tuck is elective abdominal surgery.  This surgery removes extra fat and skin in the stomach area to create a smooth, firm stomach. The objective is clear, but what happens when this surgery goes wrong? When you’re a victim of a botched tummy tuck?

Signs & Symptoms Of Surgical Negligence

Thousands of patients deal with tummy tuck complications every year. Here are some common complications and injuries of botched tummy tuck surgeries:

    • Post-surgery infections that lead to gangrene, MRSA, and sepsis
    • Internal bleeding after surgery
    • Fluid build-up
    • Nerve damage
    • Tissue damage
    • Numbness
    • Skin discoloration and swelling
    • Excessive scarring
    • Heart complications
    • Permanent disfigurement

Sometimes, plastic surgeons or other medical staff make mistakes and cause these types of complications. It may be within your rights to seek justice and to pursue compensation because of it. Read on to hear about a tragic case involving a woman and her botched tummy tuck story.

Woman holds stomach and thinks about getting a tummy tuck.

Woman Wins Medical Malpractice Case In Botched Abdominal Surgery

Before she had elective surgery in 2009, Kathie Pagan was a healthy woman and business owner. Sadly, complications from that surgery have left her with long-term mental and physical health problems. Her medical staffing business is gone. She can’t exercise like she used to. Her life has been completely changed for the worst.

From the start, Pagan experienced problems from the surgery. The incision was painful and draining a lot. She alerted her doctor to her complications. Though he said it was infected, he didn’t refer her to a specialist. Finally, eight weeks after her tummy tuck surgery, she found herself in the emergency room. After almost a week at a hospital wound clinic, she finally began to improve. It was also at the hospital that Pagan discovered she had developed a staph infection.

Kathie Pagan filed a lawsuit and was awarded $1.3 million in a medical malpractice case. The jurors awarded her $500,000 in damages for pain and suffering, and mental distress.  They also awarded her $382,000 in loss of income, as they found she lost an income of more than $430,000 through 2017. Pagan says that she is grateful for the juror’s verdict. The financial awards will help ensure stability for her and her family. But she endured thanks to a botched tummy tuck will affect her for the rest of her life.

Should You File A Botched Tummy Tuck Lawsuit?

To prove a case of medical malpractice, there are some factors you need to address and be able to prove. Here they are:

Presence Of Duty

To initiate a botched tummy tuck lawsuit, there needs to be clear evidence that a doctor-patient relationship was established. You sought treatment from the surgeon and they agreed to treat you.

Breach Of Duty

To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, you’ll need to prove a breach of duty. Basically, there needs to be evidence that your doctor didn’t provide the level of care that a competent physician in the same situation would have.


A claimant must have experienced physical, emotional, or financial injuries to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.


The most important part of a medical malpractice lawsuit is causation. A claimant needs to prove that the defendant’s actions caused their injuries. In a botched tummy tuck case, the patient must prove that the surgeon caused their injury.

If you’ve have experienced these four elements, you may want to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you’re a victim of an injury, you may be eligible for compensation for each each damage you’ve experienced. Damages are generally divided into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are anything that involves a monetary loss as a result of an incident. Non-economic damages do not have a monetary cost. Instead, they are the resulting pain, suffering, or emotional distress.

The value of a settlement may depend on a variety of factors:

    • Severity of the damage
    • Amount of medical expenses for the victim
    • Cost of future medical care and rehabilitation required
    • Loss of income and future earnings as a result of injuries
    • Presence of non-economic damages (pain and suffering)
    • The presence of punitive damagesPlastic surgery lawsuit.

Get Help Today!

Have you suffered complications due to a tummy tuck surgery? Do you think that those complications are a result of medical negligence? If you or someone you know has experienced a botched tummy tuck or other type of injury from a plastic surgery, it’s time to get help. Hampton & King is a team of experienced attorneys who have been advocating for their clients for more than forty years. Contact our office for a 100% free consultation.