Birmingham & Black Country

Surgeon Ian Paterson 'provided false diagnosis' to insurers

Ian Paterson Image copyright Trinity Mirror
Image caption Ian Paterson has said all his surgical procedures were "appropriate and necessary"

A breast surgeon accused of carrying out unnecessary operations provided a false cancer diagnosis to one patient's insurers, a court has heard.

Ian Paterson, 59, allegedly told Frances Perks to undergo a double mastectomy or risk "full-blown cancer", despite tests showing no sign of malignancy.

Ms Perks also underwent 27 unnecessary biopsies, prosecutors said.

Mr Paterson, of Altrincham, denies 20 counts of wounding with intent.

Ms Perks is one of ten people said to have undergone "extensive, life-changing operations for no medically justifiable reason" at the hands of the surgeon.

Nottingham Crown Court heard Ms Perks, whose mother and sister had died from cancer, was referred to Mr Paterson in 1994 after finding a lump in her breast at the age of 35.

Prosecutor Julian Christopher QC said she was kept under close surveillance due to her family history, and Mr Paterson had removed several lumps - which were found to be benign - from both breasts over the course of the following 10 years.

A decade after her first visit, jurors heard, Ms Perks found another lump, which was examined and found not to be cancerous.

Despite this, jurors were told, Mr Paterson told Ms Perks "it was time to be thinking of having a mastectomy and that, if she did not, she would end up with full-blown cancer".

"He said that if it were him, he would have a double mastectomy," he said.

"He wrote to her insurers, stating that she had recently been diagnosed with multi focal LCIS in her left breast and that she had a very high statistical probability of having disease in the other breast. (This is) quite wrong."

Mr Christopher previously told jurors Mr Paterson's motives for the operations were "obscure", and possibly financially motivated.

The procedures occurred at the Heart of England NHS Trust and privately run Spire Healthcare hospitals in the West Midlands between 1997 and 2011.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Mr Paterson worked for the NHS at Solihull Hospital and two private hospitals run by Spire

Mr Paterson, of Castle Mill Lane, Ashley, was interviewed by arrangement in January 2013, when he read a prepared statement saying all surgical procedures he had undertaken were "appropriate and necessary".

"He denied any allegations of inappropriate or unnecessary surgery or bad faith for the purposes of financial gain or for any other purpose, and he said that he found any suggestion that he would propose unnecessary procedures for financial gain as abhorrent," Mr Christopher said.

He was interviewed again in September 2014 but refused to answer questions. Mr Christopher told jurors other victims included:

  • Judith Conduit, 47, told by Mr Paterson she may have a rare condition. She underwent a double mastectomy, which left her with health problems, and 94 hospital appointments in 12 months
  • A 42-year-old man who had a double mastectomy after being told he was "on the road to cancer". There was no evidence of malignancy, the court heard
  • Rachel Butler, 30, had duct system removed from left breast unnecessarily
  • Leanne Joseph, 25, was left unable to breastfeed after unnecessary operations carried out by Mr Paterson
  • Dr Rosemary Platt had several unnecessary procedures including a full mastectomy
  • Carole Johnson had to pay for her fourth unnecessary breast operation after being told a lump was malignant. Insurance would not cover
  • Patricia Welch told that she had a "ticking time bomb." Her mastectomy was "quite unnecessary"
  • Marian Moran had three warts removed. She was told they were precancerous and needed mastectomy and reconstruction. Her past history was exaggerated saying that there had been cancer previously when there had not
  • Joanne Lowson, left with a "deformity" in her cleavage area after Paterson wrongly reported test results to her GP so he could carry out operations.

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