Patients increasingly sue over botched laser hair removals

Patients increasingly sue over botched laser hair removals
Laser hair removal is the most commonly litigated cutaneous laser surgery procedure, with physicians being named as defendants even when not performing the procedure, according to research published in the February issue of JAMA Dermatology.

(HealthDay)—Laser hair removal is the most commonly litigated cutaneous laser surgery procedure, with physicians being named as defendants even when not performing the procedure, according to research published in the February issue of JAMA Dermatology.

H. Ray Jalian, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues used a to identify 174 cases related to injury stemming from cutaneous and determine the most common reasons for legal action, injuries, and claims.

The investigators found that , particularly those procedures performed by nonphysician agents, was the most commonly litigated procedure. During the study period from 1985 to 2012, the incidence of litigation related to laser surgery increased until it peaked in 2010. Physicians were commonly named as the defendant, even when they did not personally perform the procedure, and failure to obtain was the most frequently reported preventable cause of action. Of the 174 cases identified, 120 had public decisions, and 50.8 percent of these ruled in favor of the plaintiff, with an average judgment in the amount of $380,719.

"Claims related to cutaneous laser surgery are increasing and result in indemnity payments that exceed the previously reported average across all medical specialties," the authors write. "Nonphysicians performing these procedures will be held to a standard of care corresponding to an individual with appropriate training; thus, physicians are ultimately responsible for the actions of their nonphysician agents."

One author disclosed serving as a consultant for Zeltiq and Unilever.

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Laser hair removal: No training required?

date Apr 12, 2010

Canada needs minimum training standards for laser hair removal operators, as currently anyone, trained or not, can legally operate a laser machine for hair removal in Canada, states an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical A ...

Laser removal of heart device wires safe for older patients

date Oct 11, 2011

Using a laser to remove wires connecting implanted pacemakers and defibrillators to the heart is as safe in people age 80 or older as it is in younger patients, according to research reported in Circulation: Arrhythmia & ...

Recommended for you

Game shows mosquito's-eye view of malaria

date Apr 24, 2015

A new game about the life cycle of malaria that can be played on Android smartphones has been created by an Oxford University developer, based on malaria research at the University's Nuffield Department of ...

DMV program can generate additional organ donors

date Apr 23, 2015

(HealthDay)—A brief, web-based training program for department of motor vehicles (DMV) employees that educates them about organ and tissue donation can increase the likelihood of customers registering as ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.