Here's What Happens When You Leave Surgical Sponges in a Person's Body for Years

Live Science | 2/21/2018 | Staff
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Sometimes, a bloated stomach is just gas or the result of something you ate. But for one woman in Japan, her abdominal bloating turned out to be caused by two surgical sponges that were left in her body years earlier, according to a new report of the case.

The 42-year-old woman told her doctors that she'd had symptoms of bloating in her lower abdomen for three years, the report said. Previously, she'd had two cesarean sections — one six years ago, and one nine years ago.

Masses - Woman - Surgery - Operation - Doctors

To remove the masses, the woman needed to have surgery. During the operation, the doctors found the two masses in an area called the paracolic gutters, which are the spaces (on each side of the body) between the colon and the abdominal wall.

After the masses were removed, the doctors cut them open, revealing gauze sponges that were encased in "thick, fibrous walls," the report said.

Sponges - Woman - C-sections - Error - Woman

These sponges turned out to have been left behind after one of the woman's C-sections, but it's not clear whether the error occurred during the woman's first operation, which was nine years ago, or her second, which was six years ago, said lead case-report author Dr. Takeshi Kondo, of the Department of General Medicine at Chiba University Hospital in Japan, who treated the patient for her abdominal pain. Still, Kondo suspects that both sponges were left during a single operation, rather than one from each operation.

During a C-section, an obstetrician may put...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Live Science
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