Ten women have joined together to sue their plastic surgeon even though they're satisfied with her work. What they're not happy about is how she posted before and after photos of their breast surgery on the internet.
All the women involved in the suit had breast augmentation surgery with Dr. Michele Koo of Kirkwood, Missouri. Doctors often post before and after photos for potential patients to see their work but in this case the photos crossed a line.
The women found their photos online, along with the photos of many other patients, because the pictures were linked to their names. That means their privacy was compromised.
Generally, doctor-patient confidentiality requires that a doctor not reveal the name or any medical information about a patient without permission. That confidentiality can be broken in some circumstances but the doctor's self-promotion is not one of them.
Part of the reason for doctor-patient confidentiality is that medical records are considered protected information. Publishing them without permission is a breach of confidentiality and a kind of medical malpractice.
The claim doesn't allege that the surgeon did it intentionally. But even if the information is exposed negligently, as the lawsuit alleges, it could still be considered malpractice.
The women all signed waivers allowing Dr. Koo is use their images on her site but the waiver explicitly states that no names will be used, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. That makes it unlikely that Dr. Koo can claim the women knew the photos might be used this way.
Dr. Koo is claiming that the breach isn't her fault and is pushing the blame on MedNet, the company that runs her website, according to Inquisitr. But MedNet claims that it's her responsibility to monitor what information she tells them to post.
Since this case came to light, it's become clear that Koo isn't the only plastic surgeon who's been making this mistake.
Women have found pre- and post-surgery photos from breast augmentations in several other states and involving other doctors, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. If you've been affected by this issue it's time to call your lawyer.
- Women sue surgeon for posting breast pics online (New York Daily News)
- Proving Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases (FindLaw)
- Key Questions To Ask Your Plastic Surgeon Up Front (FindLaw's Injured)