A doctor who wanted to earn a lot of money, told women that they had breast cancer and cut off their breasts, according to police in the United Kingdom.
Now, the breast surgeon who carried out wholly unnecessary procedures, often including radical surgery, on nine women and a man, has been convicted of malicious wounding following a trial at the Nottingham Crown Court.
Ian Paterson, 59, carried out the surgeries while working in private practice in the West Midlands.
In most cases, he told the victims they were at risk of developing breast cancer when in fact the procedures were not necessary.
Some victims underwent multiple surgical procedures for which there was no clinical basis.
The trial heard evidence from the nine women and one man who described the physical and psychological effects the procedures had on them, which included the removal of breast tissue and double mastectomies.
One victim, who became pregnant several years after undergoing a procedure, was misled by Paterson that she would be unable to breastfeed her child, causing her significant distress.
Paterson used his position of trust and his reputation as a leading breast surgeon to convince his patients they were at high risk of developing breast cancer and needed surgery, the court was told.
It is believed Paterson may have been driven by financial gain, so he could claim payment for carrying out each procedure to fund his extravagant lifestyle.
As a result, his patients and their families lived with the belief they could have cancer, and underwent extensive and life-changing operations for no medical reason, which affected them both physically and psychologically.
Paterson of Castle Mill Lane, Ashley, Altrincham, was convicted of all 20 counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on ten patients, following a ten week trial.
The patients, aged between 25 and 55, suffered numerous operations and medical procedures. One woman underwent 12 breast operations in 16 years.
The father-of-three is believed to have performed hundreds of unauthorized procedures on patients during his time as a consultant breast surgeon, persuading patients to undergo unnecessary mastectomies and lumpectomies.
This was despite many patients only needing a simple biopsy rather than invasive surgery.
As a result, Paterson was able to own a luxury home in Birmingham’s Edgbaston area, numerous properties in Cardiff and Manchester, and also a holiday home in the United States.
Paterson worked at hospitals run by the Heart of England NHS Trust, and also practiced privately at Bupa hospitals in Solihull and Sutton Coldfield.
The police investigation began, following concerns from a patient over the treatment she had been given at a private hospital in Solihull.
When she looked at her medical files, she found that the information recorded by Paterson was untrue.
Hundreds of patients were recalled to the hospitals to have their cases reviewed, and evidence emerged that Paterson had deceived numerous patients as to their condition to justify surgery that he would receive payment for.
The majority of treatments were paid for from private health insurance and some were self-funded by patients.
He would misrepresent radiology and pathology reports to give misleading diagnosis to continue his web of deceit.
Of the 11 victims he was charged with in relation to this case, none had breast cancer, and yet he led them to believe they were at risk.