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Man loses memory after liposuction slip

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Man loses memory after liposuction slip
The victim successfully appealed against a 2012 court decision that ruled he had known the risks of liposuction surgery. File photo: Jeff Kubina/Flickr
12:37 CEST+02:00
A surgeon and anaesthetist in Majorca have been ordered to pay €160,217 ($210,000) in compensation to a man who suffered post short-term memory loss after a botched liposuction procedure.

A court in Palma, Majorca upheld an appeal by the victim to overturn a 2012 ruling which had cleared the medical professionals of any blame.

The 38-year-old man was undergoing cosmetic surgery on his "abdomen and thighs" in 2006 when he suffered a cardiac arrest, according to Spanish daily Qué.

After being discharged he was diagnosed with 'cerebral anoxia', which caused him to suffer short-term memory problems, disorientation and difficulties with speech.

Doctors say he finds it difficult to remember concepts he has learned only minutes earlier, and that he can't recognize false memories.

The man was declared permanently disabled as a result of the incident because of the cognitive disorders and the associated changes in behaviour that they have provoked.

These include increased anxiety and aggression, as well as reduced verbal fluency and thinking speed.

The original 2012 court ruling went against the man because he had signed an informed consent form.

But the victim alleged that the waiver was invalid because it did not contain enough information.

The court upheld this appeal on Wednesday and ruled that the man was not properly informed of the risks of the surgery or anaesthesia.

There was found to be no specific reference to the surgery in the consent form other than in the title and a single mention of the word 'liposuction'.

No information about anaesthesia was included in informed consent section of the 'pre-operation exam' form.

Instead, only the patient's handwritten name, the name of the doctor, and the date were given.

The surgeon and anaesthetist have now been ordered to pay €160,217 in compensation.

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