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Doctors Find Surgical Sponges Left In A Woman’s Abdomen For Six Years

Angela Beltran

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One of the most feared hospital procedures is surgery. Aside from the fact that the doctor will open you up, there are a lot of risks involved such as infection and other complications. However, for one woman in Japan, the negligence of the surgical team almost cost her life.

The 42-year-old woman, who remains unidentified, complained of abdominal bloating for three years before having a consultation at a primary clinic. Upon examination, the doctors were able to feel two masses on each side of the pelvic area.

A CT scan showed two masses, which confirmed the previous assessment of the doctors.

So, they decided to perform a laparotomy, a surgical procedure that allows access to the abdominal cavity. The doctors were shocked to find two gauze sponges that had attached to the patient’s omentum, a tissue that is responsible for connecting the stomach to the other structures in the abdomen.

The doctors found two surgical sponges in the woman’s abdominal cavity.

It turns out, the patient had undergone two cesarean sections (CS) in the past, which were done nine years ago and six years ago. The doctors concluded that the sponges were left in her abdomen for six years, which explains why the sponges were able to grow into the fibrous blobs.

When the sponges were removed, the woman’s symptoms improved. The case, which was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that these things happen due to the negligence of some healthcare professionals. The sad reality is, this incident happens all the time, so often that there is already a diagnosis for it – gossypiboma, which means cotton wool tumor.

Accidentally leaving surgical instruments or retained foreign objects in the body may cause various symptoms.

Source: Pixabay

A report says that the incident ranges from 1 in 5,500 operations to about in 18,760 operations. However, gynecological surgeries have a greater risk of these incidents due to the fact that the pelvic area is harder to reach and have more recesses to lose a sponge or an instrument.

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