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Breast surgeon charged by General Medical Council

Posted in: Medical Negligence Negligent Cancer Diagnosis Negligent Cosmetic Surgery 

The General Medical Council (GMC) has found a breast surgeon guilty of unlawfully and maliciously wounding 11 female patients. The surgeon, Dr Ian Paterson, was found guilty of 21 counts of neglect against 11 patients, and was suspended in 2012. Since the suspension, more than 550 patients have been recalled to have their treatment reviewed.  Dr Paterson treated around 700 women between 1993 and 2012, during which time he carried out unlawful surgery in hospitals run by the Heart of England NHS Trust and Spire Healthcare.

Investigations are still underway following allegations that Dr Paterson carried out unnecessary and invasive surgery on women suspected of having breast cancer. It is claimed that this surgery took place when a simple biopsy could have sufficed. The surgeries took place at Solihull Hospital and two further private hospitals managed by Spire.

Procedure can potentially leave cancerous tissue

Paterson is also accused of carrying out a banned procedure, known as ‘cleavage sparing mastectomy’ which is a procedure used to preserve cleavage and is entirely cosmetic. This procedure can potentially leave behind cancerous tissue that would otherwise have been removed.

As the law stands at the moment, only cosmetic surgeons working in private hospitals have to hold a certificate showing that they are competent and qualified to perform cosmetic surgery. However, from early 2016 all surgeons will be able to apply for the certificate which should make undergoing breast surgery safer for women.

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