Clinical Negligence expert Thompsons Solicitors is acting on behalf of a breast cancer survivor whose cancer returned after she was given a controversial cleavage sparing mastectomy.

The patient, who does not wish to be identified, was diagnosed with breast cancer and was treated at Solihull Hospital by surgeon Ian Paterson.

Mr Paterson is being investigated by the General Medical Council (GMC) after his technique of leaving a small amount of breast tissue around the cleavage was questioned by his colleagues.

Most Surgeons follow national guidelines to not leave excess breast tissue as it could increase the risk of the cancer returning.

More than 60 women have been recalled by the hospital for examination.

Mr Paterson left the patient, who was in her mid forties, with a small cleavage without asking her permission. She then needed a further operation as the surgeon hadn’t removed enough tissue around the cancerous area. He still didn’t remove the cleavage.

Two years later the cancer returned

Just two years later the patient was told the terrifying news that the cancer had returned. She underwent further surgery for a completion mastectomy and radiotherapy.

She instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue compensation against Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull NHS Trust.

Thompsons has already successfully concluded a similar case against the Trust.

The patient said: “When you have cancer your priority is to have the best possible chance of survival. Cosmetic appearance is not an issue. Had I been consulted I would have considered the risks involved with this procedure to be unacceptable too.”

“I am of the opinion that if a chest wall mastectomy had been performed initially then I would have avoided the subsequent recurrence, two further operations and a course of radiotherapy.”

Kashmir Uppal from Thompsons Solicitors said: “The Trust has admitted that our client’s care was not of an appropriate standard and has apologised for the failings in the care provided. The admissions are welcome for our client who will have been through fear, pain and suffering after experiencing cancer twice and needing three operations. However the admissions leave open a whole host of questions about monitoring of Doctors at this Trust. If Mr Paterson failed to follow guidelines to introduce a new technique are other doctors in other disciplines also departing from recognised techniques for performing operations? What is the system of monitoring at the Hospital? The report of the external review needs to be made public.

“We will be watching the outcome of the GMC investigation closely.”