BACKGROUND: The informed consent form provides security for the plastic surgeon and the patient, and its use is recommended by the Consumer's Defense Code. METHODS: A total of 100 judgments made by the courts of 5 Brazilian states were analyzed, in cases involving aesthetic plastic surgeries. This retrospective study was conducted between July 2010 and August 2012 involving a total of 3,427 plastic surgeons. The most common causes of lawsuits and the evidence that led to conviction or acquittal decisions in these cases were assessed. RESULTS: There was an average conviction rate of 55% among the states under study (range, 35-85%). The average compensation for moral damages was R$30,900. The main surgical procedures that resulted in the lawsuits and the convictions were abdominoplasty, mammoplasty, and breast implantation. In the cases in which the physician was acquitted, there was a favorable expert opinion in 84,6% of the judgments, whereas adequate information was provided in 100% of such cases. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that a favorable expert opinion and the adequate provision of information about suggested treatments were instrumental in physician acquittal.
Informed consent; Plastic surgery; Jurisprudence