A breast surgeon suspended over complaints regarding operations he carried out has been charged with 21 counts of wounding with intent to cause harm to patients.
Ian Paterson appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court today charged with unlawfully and maliciously wounding with the intention to do grievous bodily harm, contrary to the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
West Midlands Police later confirmed the charges were "in connection with allegations around medical practices against patients".
All the alleged offences are said to have happened between 1997 and 2011.
The counts relate to a total of 11 people in all, both men and women.
The 58-year-old, of Castle Mill Lane in Altringham, Cheshire, did not enter pleas today and is due to appear before at Birmingham Crown Court next month.
He was conditionally bailed until then.
The surgeon, who worked at the NHS-run Solihull Hospital and the private Little Aston Spire and Solihull Spire Hospitals, was suspended by the General Medical Council in 2012 over claims he had carried out unnecessary operations on hundreds of patients.
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "A surgeon has appeared in court charged with 21 counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
"Ian Paterson appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court in connection with allegations around medical practices against patients."
A spokesman for Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Solihull Hospital, said: "We appreciate the distress caused to patients and their families.
"The trust will fully comply with the legal process. However, in light of the charges, it is not appropriate for us to comment further."