Objects Left in the Body after Surgery

Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Tucson, Phoenix, Flagstaff and all Arizona communities

Undergoing a surgical procedure is frightening enough on its own; you should not have to worry about the surgeon incorrectly operating on you as well. Tragically, though, surgical mistakes can-and do-happen. One serious problem that about 1,500 patients face each year is surgical tools left in the body after surgery.

Doctors require a variety of different tools to perform an operation. Thus, although the Association of Operating Room Nurses requires that objects like sponges are counted before and after a surgery to make sure that there are none missing and possibly left in the body, these reckless accidents still occur.

Consequences of Foreign Objects in the Body

When tools remain in the body post-surgery, a variety of different problems can occur. First, they can serve as a source of infection. Additionally, they can cause further internal damage that may require another operation to fix. Lastly, all of these can be painful and detrimental to your overall health.

The most commonly lost item is a sponge, while clamps, knives, needles, and towels can also be misplaced. These are most often lost in the abdominal cavity, followed by the thoracic cavity. Additionally, there are certain risk factors that can increase your chance of suffering from this medical mistake, including:

    • Being overweight or obese
    • Needing emergency surgery
    • Having a change in the surgery plan during the operation

When a tool is left in your body after a surgery, it can require even more operations to fix the damage that occurs internally. If you or someone you know has suffered from this problem, or other medical mistakes, you should speak to a medical malpractice lawyer about your options for financial compensation.