Birmingham & Black Country

Ian Paterson case: Cleavage-sparing op left mum 'deformed'

Ian Paterson Image copyright Trinity Mirror
Image caption Ian Paterson was formerly employed by Heart of England NHS Trust and also practised at Spire Healthcare

A "cleavage-sparing" operation carried out by surgeon Ian Paterson left a mother with a "deformed" breast, a trial has heard.

Joanne Lowson, who had the allegedly needless surgery to remove a lump, said it "almost divided my breast in half".

She told a jury she underwent the operation as she believed she could still wear "bikinis and pretty tops".

Mr Paterson denies 20 counts of wounding when working in the West Midlands.

Jurors have heard the surgeon carried out completely unnecessary operations for "obscure motives".

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

Nottingham Crown Court heard Mrs Lowson, then aged 42, saw Mr Paterson in March 2009 after discovering a lumpy area in her left breast.

She said: "He (Mr Paterson) said there were some abnormal cells, the lump was unstable but not cancerous.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Ian Paterson practised at hospitals in the West Midlands including the Spire Little Aston Hospital in Sutton Coldfield

"My husband said: 'What would happen if we did nothing and left the lump?' and Mr Paterson said he could not guarantee it would remain non-cancerous.

"He talked about using a cleavage-sparing technique so I did not have a scar on my cleavage."

Mrs Lowson said she had a second cleavage-sparing operation in September 2010 after another lump was found, which left her with a "significant deformity in the visible cleavage area" on her left breast.

When asked by prosecuting QC Julian Christopher whether she would have decided to go through with the operations if she had known the results of a scan on the lump, she said: "No-one in their right mind would have something removed if it was normal.

"At no point did he say it was normal."

'A good earner'

On Wednesday, the trial heard a mother was led to believe she was a cancer "ticking bomb" and encouraged to undergo chemotherapy and a mastectomy, a court has heard.

Patricia Welch said she had thought Mr Paterson was a "consummate professional" and she put her complete trust in him.

Her husband Michael told the court Mr Paterson and the couple had become on "quite good terms" and used to joke about his consultancy fees being "a good earner".

"He (Mr Paterson) would jokingly say 'I have to pay for my holidays somehow'. We would gently laugh at that," he said.

The trial has been adjourned until Monday.

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