Because Your Future Matters

When surgeons leave something behind

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

Undergoing surgery, whether major or minor, can be stressful. However, if everything goes as planned, you may be able to recover and return to your daily tasks. Unfortunately, recovery can sometimes be delayed. One of the leading causes of delayed recovery is if surgical instruments are left behind. 

If a negligent surgeon leaves items behind during surgery, then you may have to undergo additional procedures to remove them. This means your recovery will be delayed, and you may incur increased medical bills. 

Which are the most retained surgical instruments?

Some of the most common foreign items that surgeons leave behind after surgical procedures include:

  • Surgical sponges
  • Scissors
  • Towels
  • Needles
  • Scalpels
  • Forceps 

Foreign objects left inside the body after surgery can cause serious health issues. Usually, patients may be vulnerable to adhesions, fistulas, infections and other complications. What’s more, sharp objects inside the body can lacerate vital organs. 

Signs a surgeon may have left foreign items in your body

Foreign items left inside your body during surgery can quickly become life-threatening. However, while pain and discomfort are normal after surgery, consider seeking medical treatment if you notice the following warning signs:

  • Discoloration around the incision area
  • High fever
  • Generalized sepsis
  • Pain and fatigue become worse
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Foul odor from the site of the incision

How quickly you experience these signs will mainly depend on the type of object left behind. While some patients can go months or years before they suspect a foreign surgical object was left in their body, some objects can cause serious internal organ damage, digestive problems and swelling. When this happens, you may have to undergo a more serious procedure to correct the mistakes your doctor made. 

Did a surgeon accidentally leave a foreign object in your body?

If you underwent a surgical procedure and suspect the surgeon may have left something in your body, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. First, however, consider seeking legal guidance to increase your odds of getting the compensation you need.