Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Surgeon rejects 'abhorrent' suggestions he performed unnecessary ops for gain

A leading surgeon said suggestions he carried out a series of completely unnecessary breast operations for financial gain were "abhorrent".

Ian Paterson is said to have exaggerated or simply invented the risk of cancer and - in some cases - claimed payments for more expensive procedures, a court heard.

The 59-year-old is standing trial accused of 20 counts of wounding with intent against nine women and one man relating to procedures he carried out between 1997 and 2011.

Jurors at Nottingham Crown Court heard Paterson speak of his innocence at a police interview relating to the allegations on January 8 2013.

In the statement, read by prosecutor Nicholas Barraclough, he said: "He has never pressured any patient to undergo surgery. He gave patients time to make their decision.

"All surgical procedures taken by him were appropriate and necessary and he denies any allegations of unnecessary surgery or bad faith."

He denied the operations were carried out "for the purpose of financial gain or any other purpose", describing suggestions he carried out the operations for money as "abhorrent".

The six men and five women of the jury have previously heard claims he carried out completely unnecessary operations for "obscure motives" that may have included a desire to "earn extra money".

Alleged victims of Paterson have included a mother said to have agreed to two "unnecessary operations" leaving her unable to breast feed and a woman who had a "significant deformity in her visible cleavage area" after a pair of unneeded operations on her left breast, the court heard.

Paterson, who saw hundreds of patients a year, was quizzed about the case of GP Rosemary Platt who had a mastectomy after suggesting that he would take the same course of action on his own wife, the court previously heard.

The first of the 20 charges relates to a wide local excision - an operation in which a lump and tissue surrounding it are removed - carried out on Dr Platt in August 5 1997.

The prosecution previously claimed this procedure was unjustified as there was no evidence of abnormal cells in the milk glands, but this is denied by Paterson.

In the witness stand, father-of-three Paterson detailed his career which saw him qualify in 1981 from the University of Bristol and go on to move to Manchester a few years later.

He moved to Birmingham in 1991 after a two-year research placement at Harvard Medical School with the court also hearing about his passion for rugby.

Paterson, who started seeing private patients in 1993, added that he would use an analogy of "shades of grey" when talking with patients about their scans, where white was benign and black was cancer.

He said: "Between these two extremes there are shades of grey and everyone can get that. It's a very straightforward thing that's not patronising but easy to understand."

The Scottish-born surgeon, who was wearing a dark suit and blue and white striped shirt, said the fact that Dr Platt was medically qualified "massively" had an effect on how he treated her.

He said: "We all do our best to treat every patient the same but it's impossible to treat a doctor colleague the same as another lady of the same age and intelligence or whatever.

"Because she brings to the table medical knowledge and, with that medical knowledge, preconceptions - some of which are wrong - and these preconceptions may actually be throwbacks to what she learnt at medical school.

"It can be a challenge to treat a colleague, it's a privilege to treat a colleague because they have chosen you."

The defence QC asked: "Did you believe what you did was justified?"

The defendant replied: "Yes, with her full consent."

Paterson, of Castle Mill Lane, Ashley, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, who was formerly employed by Heart of England NHS Trust and practised at Spire Healthcare, denies 20 counts of wounding with intent.

His defence continues on Tuesday morning.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph