Birmingham & Black Country

Ian Paterson case: Woman 'unable to breastfeed after unnecessary surgery'

Ian Paterson Image copyright Trinity Mirror
Image caption Ian Paterson denies 20 counts of wounding with intent against nine women and one man

A young mother was left unable to breastfeed after two "unnecessary operations" by a surgeon accused of wounding her, a court has heard.

Leanne Joseph was 25 when she had ducts removed from both breasts by Ian Paterson.

Prosecutors said she was wrongly told a scan on her left breast had found pre-cancerous cells.

Mr Paterson denies 20 counts of wounding with intent against nine women and one man.

Mother-of-two Ms Joseph told Nottingham Crown Court she was left "devastated" when she was unable to feed her daughter, who was born two years after the procedures.

Ms Joseph said she became paranoid and developed OCD after giving birth, fearing for the immune system of her daughter who is now aged eight.

'Small price to pay'

She said: "I found it very hard because all the other mums in the hospital were breastfeeding and there were posters everywhere telling you that breast milk was the best thing for your child's immune system."

In 2006, she had opted for private treatment after noticing a discharge from her left breast and was told a scan had found pre-cancerous cells, prosecutors said.

She had a procedure carried out by Mr Paterson at Little Aston Hospital, Sutton Coldfield, in October.

As she went to have her stitches taken out on her left breast, Mr Paterson told her it was common for her condition to appear on both sides and she was advised to go under the knife again, which she did at the same hospital, the court heard.

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption Ms Paterson underwent a procedure at Little Aston Hospital in October 2006

She told jurors of the moment her diagnosis was given by Mr Paterson and said: "He just told me that I would need an operation to have them (milk ducts) removed and that he could do it two days later.

"I was quite shocked, he told me that although the operation was quite straightforward I would not be able to breastfeed if I had any children but it was a small price to pay for my life."

Speaking about Mr Paterson, she said he was "lovely" to her, was "really kind" and held her hand.

She stated: "He just made me feel at ease and I remember thinking I was making a big fuss... in getting upset about the anaesthetic."

Mr Paterson has denied the 20 counts of wounding with intent relating to procedures he carried out between 1997 and 2011.

Jurors have heard claims he carried out completely unnecessary operations for "obscure motives" that may have included a desire to "earn extra money".

Mr Paterson, of Castle Mill Lane, Ashley, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, was formerly employed by Heart of England NHS Trust and also practised at Spire Healthcare.

The trial continues.

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