Two surgical sponges found in abdomen after five years in a woman by Mumbai doctors |
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Two surgical sponges found in abdomen after five years in a woman by Mumbai doctors

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In an uncommon case, Mumbai doctors found two surgical sponges inside the abdomen of a woman, allegedly left behind five years ago after a Caesarean section in a UP hospital. GT Hospital surgeons in Mumbai said that it was rare for a patient to live with a foreign body for so long, without presenting pain or any other symptoms.

Early in January, Shabnam Ali (38) from Balrampur district of UP came to Mumbai for a gall bladder removal surgery. The mother said she experienced occasional abdominal pain and bloating after birth of her son at UP’s Prem Seva Hospital in June 2015. Ultrasound scans were done and showed only stones in her gall bladder.

In a two-hour laparoscopic surgery on January 16, GT doctors removed the two 10x10cm gauge pads, which enclosed in tissues and pus, sat close to the stomach and colon. Suspecting it to be a cystic tumour, doctors removed the mass and carried on with the gall bladder removal surgery and also repaired her umbilical hernia. When doctors dissected the mass they were stunned to discover the gauze pieces.

Dr Jeetendra Sankpal, who headed the team of surgeons, said that the abdomen is often called the Pandora’s Box by surgeons as one never knows what will come out of it when it is opened. They were shocked to find the gauze pieces lying for five years inside the abdomen. The body’s immune system encapsulated the gauze pads and they spotted a swelling and they inserted the camera-mounted scope and checked the whole abdomen. Surprisingly, the woman did not suffer from other serious complications, such as rupturing of intestine.

Shabnam, whose son is five years now, said she had a miscarriage last June in the fourth month of gestation. Ever since, her frequency of abdominal pain had increased, rushing her Mumbai visit. Dr Sankpal said it was possible to relate the foreign object and resultant toxicity to the miscarriage. Shabnam said that she was happy that the nagging pain would end, but if did not then she would initiate action against the UP hospital.

Senior resident Dr Jai Rathore said there were four reported cases, where foreign bodies were found and removed by laparoscopy. Gossypiboma cases are mostly under-reported as it accounts for over 50% of medical negligence cases.

Source: ET Healthworld

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