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Items that are left behind in surgery

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Surgery can be a little scary at times, but it’s even scarier when you think of the chances that something could go horribly wrong. Surgical mistakes are a very real problem in Massachusetts and around the country.

At times, practitioners can accidentally leave something behind in your body after a procedure. When this happens, it’s hard to figure out right away and can have potentially deadly consequences.

What items can be left behind during surgery?

A lot of different tools are used during surgery. Regardless of how minor your procedure is, it still can involve a lot of different equipment. This equipment is what’s most likely to get left behind in your body during surgeries. Some of them are:

  • Protective surgical equipment, like gloves or masks.
  • Towels and sponges that are meant to soak up blood
  • Drainage tips and tubes
  • Scalpels, needles, scissors and other small equipment used during surgery

Things like towels and sponges tend to blend in with internal organs and tissue, making them the most common things to be left behind. Other objects are left behind by accident due to their size or oversight of the doctor, and it could give rise to a medical malpractice claim.

What are the consequences?

Sponges and towels can cause infection over a long period of time, and sharp objects like scissors can cause internal bleeding. Other medical equipment might cause infections or discomfort, or other complications to your recovery.

It can be hard to know when an item has been left behind in your surgery, but it’s not totally uncommon If you suspect something is amiss, reach out to your surgeon or primary care doctor right away to get it investigated. You might find it advisable to discuss your situation with an attorney as well.