Ian PatersonImage copyright

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One patient said Paterson ‘ruined their life’

A breast surgeon has been convicted of intentionally wounding patients in “completely unnecessary” operations.

Ian Paterson, 59, was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent, relating to nine women and one man.

Jurors at Nottingham Crown Court decided the surgeon carried out “extensive, life-changing operations for no medically-justifiable reason”.

Paterson, of Altrincham, Greater Manchester, was also convicted of three further wounding charges.

He was granted bail and is due to be sentenced in May.

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The trial heard Paterson exaggerated or invented cancer risks and claimed payments for more expensive procedures in some cases.

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Media captionA woman operated on four times by Ian Paterson said it left her feeling “violated”.

The seven-week trial heard the accounts from 10 patients – representing a sample of those Paterson treated – operated on between 1997 and 2011 at the private Little Aston and Parkway hospitals in the West Midlands.

Jurors were not told Paterson carried out hundreds of unnecessary operations on NHS patients, with a hospital trust paying out £17.8m in damages and legal costs.

In evidence, one told the jury: “That person has ruined my life.”

Multiple patients told how Paterson misled them into thinking they were seriously ill, leading them to agree to surgery.

One said she was called a “ticking time bomb” by the surgeon and he convinced another she had cancer when she was only at risk of developing it.

Debbie Douglas, a former patient who attended court, but did not give evidence, said after Paterson was convicted: “I thought I had the best of consultants. All these years down the line, I feel I’ve been betrayed.

“I feel like I’ve been mutilated. I thought my scars were a badge of honour. Now I find he has mutilated me and I have been through all of this for nothing.

“Thank God those brave people who spoke up in court have got the right verdict.”

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Media captionWhat is cleavage-sparing surgery?

Det Insp Caroline Marsh of West Midlands Police: “He received some perverse pleasure from these practices.”

The jury of six men and five women were warned against researching the case, and were not told hundreds of Paterson’s patients were recalled in 2012 over concerns about his work.

He performed what he called “cleavage-sparing” mastectomies on many of his patients, leaving breast tissue behind to achieve a better cosmetic effect.

By doing so, he left them in great danger of developing secondary cancer, jurors heard.

The Scottish-born surgeon, of Castle Mill Lane, Ashley, was suspended by the General Medical Council (GMC) after his arrest.

The total number of people he operated on is 4,424, although he treated thousands more privately.

In October, 350 private patients who had unnecessary operations will seek compensation at the High Court, Linda Millband from Thompsons Solicitors said.