Laser Hair Removal as Medical Malpractice

Permanent hair reduction specifically using laser hair removal has become a very popular procedure when it became widely available in the 1990s. Laser hair removal involves the use of laser light using specific wavelengths for selective photothermolysis. This means that the laser can destroy hair follicles without damaging the surrounding areas. It is a less painful and faster process than the traditional hair removal treatment through electrolysis, although laser epilation will not remove all the hair in the target area.

In the U.S., laser hair removal is widely accepted in dermatological circles as a safe procedure, but it is not a regulated one. As a result, many laser hair removal clinics have been established where the procedure is performed by non-medical personnel or non-physician operators (NPOs). This can be a problem for patients because the side-effects of laser hair removal, mainly burning, can be serious enough to cause permanent damage. NPOs that have no medical training can and do easily make mistakes in detecting potential problems and performing the procedure.

Some states require laser hair removal to be done by a physician or under the supervision of a physician although these regulations do not specify that the physician has to be a dermatologist. In other words, any doctor can do or supervise laser hair removal. So even in states such as Michigan and South Carolina where the procedure has to be physician-supervised, there is a high risk of injury to the patient.

As a result, there has been an increase in medical malpractice suits filed involving injuries sustained from laser hair removal in the US. Third-degree burns and scarring are the most common injuries cited in these lawsuits. In states where a physician is required, the liability is that of the supervising physician even if the NPO was responsible for the injury. As pointed out in an article on the website of this Houston shoulder replacement lawsuit attorney, physicians have a legal duty of care to its patients that NPOs do not.

If you sustained serious injuries from laser hair removal, contact a medical malpractice lawyer in your area to assess the case. You may be able to get compensation for the damage done. However, you must act within the time limit for filing a suit, which differs depending on the type of case, but is often two years.

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