Glasgow-born 'Butcher Surgeon' could have mutilated thousands of victims

Glasgow-born 'Butcher Surgeon' could have mutilated thousands of victims

Lawyer Linda Milliband says new cases have emerged since Ian Paterson was jailed for performing botched or necessary surgeries and claims there could be as many as 2,500 more affected patients.

Glasgow Live

A doctor who mutilated hundreds of women could have thousands more victims, it's claimed.

Lawyer Linda Millband is investigating the number of injuries inflicted by disgraced surgeon Ian Paterson, originally from Glasgow.

The rogue medic operated in theatres for years, and performed botched, or unnecessary surgeries on more than 1,000 patients while carrying out procedures on private patients in England.

Now Ms Milliband, a clinical negligence expert, claims this is just the tip of the iceberg.

She said: "This has to be one of the worst cases of my career. It is horrendous. Around 4,500 patients who had some connection to Paterson were notified.

"About 1,500 people have come forward so there are a lot more people out there. There may be another 2,500 people out there who have been potentially damaged by Paterson. We just don’t know.

“People keep coming forward. Every time there is something in the media about him, more people come forward.

“Some of his victims may have had treatment, say, in the Midlands in the ’90s or early 2000s but have been in contact from Devon and Cornwall. We have even had people from Spain calling about it.”

She found Paterson dabbled in many forms of surgery.

She said: “One of the interesting things about the new cases is that some are for things other than breast surgery.

“We have cases for varicose veins, he was doing hernia surgery and just very random surgeries. We even had cases where he did gall bladder surgery.

“They were all unnecessary. His qualifications are a bit suspect. He was a vascular surgeon to start with then he wandered into breast surgery and then he started doing general surgery as well.”

While based near Birmingham, Paterson gained a reputation for risking patients’ lives with poorly performed surgery and was reported to senior NHS managers in 2007 but went on to operate until 2011.

He was jailed for 20 years in 2017 after being found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding for mutilating nine women and one man.

A coroner is investigating whether Paterson, 64, who was lead breast clinician for NHS Solihull Hospital and worked privately for Spire, has caused potentially hundreds of deaths.

Paterson invented a “cleavage sparing” mastectomy technique that he performed on women. It left breast tissue in place allowing cancer to return.

Ms Millband, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “He carried out double mastectomies on some of these women, totally unnecessarily, so there is a visceral hatred for him. It’s absolutely terrible.

“They all think the sentence is too short. Obviously, it was 15 years to start with, then on appeal, it went up to 20.

“That was five years ago now and after 10 they’re worried that he might be able to come out with parole and that’s a very upsetting thought for all of them.

“I saw him at the trial and he was very arrogant. There seems to have been two sets of cases. There were ones where he realised that women were slightly vulnerable because, obviously, he would have read through their notes before. He realised that they had a vulnerability and he seems to have taken advantage of those women.

“I presume he knew that whatever he said they would do, they would trust him and would have the surgery.

“There is a sort of God complex, too but I think there is also a financial motivation. Whenever he could recommend surgery he did and the only motive for that must be a financial gain.”


His crimes featured in a recent TV show Bodies Of Evidence: The Butcher Surgeon which revealed that he lived in a £1.5 million house in Birmingham’s posh Edgbaston suburb, drove expensive cars, and ate in Michelin-starred restaurants.

His colleague, Hemant Ingle, raised the alarm with hospital chiefs. He said: “On a Friday afternoon he would be having between 20 to 22 patients in a private clinic, which is unheard of.

“Even in the NHS we don’t get that many cancers that we’d operate on in one week in one clinic. And I wondered if all these cases were actually cancer.”

Two years ago, the Solihull and Birmingham coroner launched an investigation into whether any “unnatural deaths” occurred under Paterson’s care.