The consultant, 62, was convicted in 2017 of 17 wounding with intent charges and three of unlawful wounding. An inquiry later found he carried out unnecessary operations on more than 1,000 patients over 14 years.
It said he exaggerated or invented cancer risks and claimed payments for more expensive procedures.
In 2020, West Midlands Police asked Birmingham and Solihull senior coroner Louise Hunt to look at a “random selection” of 23 of Paterson’s former patients, to decide whether any died of unnatural causes due to “potentially sub-standard treatment”.
Seven inquests were opened and adjourned that year, but yesterday another 13 were started at Birmingham Coroner’s Court.
Ms Hunt told the hearings she had “reason to believe” the deaths were “caused or contributed to by sub-standard treatment provided by Mr Paterson and other clinicians involved in the care of the deceased”.
She said future inquests would consider any failings in supervision of Paterson, including by clinical colleagues, and whether they should have informed authorities.
The evidence will also examine whether there were “systemic failings by hospital management…in addressing and responding to concerns raised about Mr Paterson”.
Ms Hunt said that “any inaction or failure of supervision by the regulatory agencies…any failings in the culture at the hospitals where Mr Paterson worked [and]…any failings in the recall system of patients” would also be probed.
She added: “It is my duty to ensure the relevant facts will be fully, fairly and fearlessly investigated and it’s likely a report to prevent future deaths will be considered.”
Paterson’s trial at Nottingham Crown Court heard that he carried out unapproved “cleavage-sparing” mastectomies on patients. The surgery left behind breast tissue, risking a return of cancer.
He was initially jailed for 15 years, but the Court of Appeal increased his sentence to 20 years.
An independent inquiry published in February 2020 said Paterson, who operated at NHS and Spire Healthcare hospitals in the West Midlands, performed unnecessary operations in a “dysfunctional” healthcare system that failed patients. It recommended more than 11,000 of his patients be recalled.
Paterson challenged his conviction last year. But his appeal was thrown out after three senior judges heard he “denied, and indeed continues to deny, the misconduct of which he was accused at his trial”.