New Jersey Woman Sues, Can't Fully Blink After Eyelid Surgery


Parker's lawyer told the jury that Parker presented Leisz with a standard consent form, with the warnings and risks of the procedure. But Leisz said Parker never went over the risks, except for some swelling and bruising after the first few days of surgery.

As he said in his statement, Parker is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Board certified plastic surgeons are required to help patients understand the risks of any surgery.

"The Center considers presurgical counseling as important as the surgery itself and conducts extensive interviews with all prospective patients," Parker said. "We never overlook this vital step."

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 13.1 million cosmetic procedures and 208,764 eyelid surgeries done in the United States in 2010.

"With all the money plastic surgeons are making, you wouldn't think there is so much prejudice out there of cosmetic procedures," said Leisz, referring to negative comments made in online stories that have covered the trial.

"Ultimately, patients do assume some risk in choosing to have these procedures and doctors need to operate on the right people for the right reasons," said Dr. John Millard, president of Millard Plastic Surgery Center in Denver, who is not involved with the case.

"It appears that too much skin was re-sected from her upper eyelids," added Millard. "It is a risk of the blepharoplasty procedure. It is commonly covered in the consent, assuming the doctor used a standard consent."

Doctors Weigh In

Leisz's attorney played a video for the jury of another doctor who weighed in on the procedure. The physician said Leisz was not a good candidate for another eye procedure because of her prior surgeries and the possible lack of skin around the eye.

But Millard said that she still may have been a good candidate for the procedure if she had excess, overhanging or upper eyelid skin, regardless of how many procedures she had in the past.

"Simply put, there would have been an amount of skin that, when removed, would have allowed her to close her eyes," said Millard. "If she didn't have any excess skin and this was done unnecessarily, then it would have been an inappropriate procedure in the first place."

However, Dr. Michael Olding, director of the Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center at George Washington University, said that it is difficult to make assumptions about the surgery in hindsight.

"Just because other doctors have the advantage of looking at it retrospectively with its resultant complication does not mean that she was not a candidate for the procedure," Olding said. "But if she had undergone the same procedure previously, one must be very cautious not to overdo the skin resection."

Plastic surgeons said that complications are much more likely the second and third time around.

"Complications do occur, and it is our obligation to inform patients of the complications, and then they make an educated decision about whether or not to proceed," said Olding. "It's informed consent."

Olding noted that it is difficult to comment without knowing the exact procedure with before-and-after results, but he was willing to comment on what may have happened for Leisz's lids to become deformed.

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