This case involves a diabetic male patient who underwent a face lift and facial chemical peel in South Carolina. The patient was not given or prescribed any antibiotics after the procedure was completed. Within a week of the surgery, the patient began to complain about the incision and peel not healing. The doctor continued to advise this was normal and didn’t prescribe any further treatment. When the patient consulted his family physician, he diagnosed her with an infection in the wound and skin and prescribed an antibiotic. The wounds and skin eventually healed, but left significant scar tissue.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. How many neck lifts/ face lifts do you perform per month?
- 2. What are common complications of the procedure and what measures can be taken to prevent them?
Expert Witness Response E-128516
I have a head to toe plastic surgery practice, performing between 1 and 4 face, neck, or brow lifts per month, as well as several resurfacing procedures with laser or chemical peels per week. Skin necrosis, or loss, as well as wide scarring, prolonged redness, hematomas, and facial asymmetry are common complications of these procedures. Many techniques are available to prevent these, such as keeping blood pressure under tight control and blood sugar under good control before surgery, pretreating with Retin A, antibiotics, and Valtrex prior to a peel, avoiding blood thinners, avoiding excessive skin resection and tension on the scars, and good surgical technique. The physician should have been able to identify the infection at the surgical site, and should have prescribed antibiotics as appropriate.