The Tokyo Reporter

Kanagawa surgeons forgot to remove apparatus from patient

The abdominal spatula that doctors forgot to remove from a patient (Courtesy of Chigasaki City Hospital)

KANAGAWA (TR) – Surgeons at a hospital here forgot to remove an abdominal spatula from a patient and performed another operation to remove it 20 days later, hospital officials said on Friday.

The botched operation involved a woman in her 70s at Chigasaki City Hospital who received an oophorectomy, or ovary removal, on August 4 when doctors forgot to remove a Mikulicz abdominal spatula from her body, the Sankei Shimbun reports (Aug. 26).

The woman was discharged a week after the surgery, but complained of abdominal pain on Wednesday and received an X-ray scan which revealed the abdominal spatula was left inside her body.

The tool was removed the same day, along with a small adhesion in the woman’s small intestine.

The patient is said to be in stable condition after the apparatus was left inside her for 20 days, which caused intestinal obstruction.

Officials from Chigasaki City Hospital apologized to the woman and her family, concluding that doctors and nurses failed to count the number of surgical instruments after the botched operation.

“We hope to ensure that work procedures will be conducted properly so this won’t happen again,” hospital officials said.

Stainless-steel abdominal spatulas are used to protect organs during surgery. The spatula that was left inside the patient measures about four centimeters wide and 30 centimeters long.

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