Home E-Weekly February 27, 2018

Not 1, But 2 Sponges Left Inside Woman From Separate Surgeries 3 Years Apart

Published: February 27, 2018

Two Sponges BLOATING A woman felt abdominal bloating for 3 years because of 2 retained sponges.

Doctors who were investigating the cause of a patient's bloating made a shocking discovery recently — 2 surgical sponges that had been left in the woman's abdomen from 2 separate C-sections.

The first sponge was left in the 42-year-old woman's abdomen 9 years ago, when she had a cesarean section at a Japanese hospital, according to a study on the finding, which was published in the February edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. Three years later, she went back to the same hospital for another cesarean section and again, a surgical sponge was left in her abdomen. The study did not name the hospital where the procedures took place or who was responsible for the retained objects.

For 6 and 9 years those sponges stayed inside the woman, until she went to Chiba University Hospital, in Chiba, Japan, complaining of abdominal bloating, which she'd been experiencing for 3 years, the study said.

Doctors did abdominal radiographs and computed tomography of the woman's abdomen and found 2 dense, stringy objects. When they performed a laparotomy, they found the sponges, which were smooth and partially adhered to the colon and greater omentum. Doctors removed the sponges and the patient recovered, relieved of her bloating, in 5 days.

Anna Merriman

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