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Foreign Object Left in Patient During Surgery Causes Pain for Years

This 49 year old patient had abnormal menstrual bleeding and other symptoms that ultimately led she and her OB-GYN to the decision that a hysterectomy should be performed. During the course of the hysterectomy a Balfour retractor was used to hold the patient’s bladder out of the way. The surgery was successful and, after the operating room staff counted sponges and needles and surgical implements, the patient was closed. Unfortunately, there was no protocol requiring a count of the one wing nut that held the arm of the Balfour retractor. That wing nut had fallen into the patient’s abdomen at the conclusion of the surgery as the Balfour retractor was being released and the patient’s bladder was being settled back into its normal anatomic position. The patient recovered from her hysterectomy. However, over the following years she had several complaints that were related to the unknown retained foreign object (the wing nut). The retained foreign object had become incased in scar tissue and had adhered to numerous organs and the spine. Years of complaints to her family doctor and her OB-GYN fell on deaf ears. Eventually, an abdominal CT scan was performed and the wing nut was discovered. The patient had to have risky and invasive surgery to delicately dissect the scarred-in wing nut away from her organs and spine. If you have questions about a Kentucky medical malpractice allegation involving a retained foreign object you are welcome to contact the Law Offices of Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC.
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