Surgical sponge forgotten for nine years in the abdomen: A case report

Sergio Susmallian, Benjamin Raskin, Royi Barnea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction Retained surgical sponge or other items in patients’ bodies happens more frequently than is reported. Healthcare personnel can forget to remove textile material or instruments during complicated, extended, or emergency surgery. In addition, changes in the operating team can influence the occurrence of such errors. Presentation of case We present a case with a symptomatic gossypiboma nine years after a previous cesarean section. A 34-year-old woman was admitted to the emergency room having experienced abdominal pain and fever for the previous month. An abdominal computed tomography revealed an abscess in the lower abdomen. A laparotomy was performed, and a resection and block were carried out. A surgical sponge was extracted from an omental abscess. Discussion Surgical sponges are the most common foreign materials retained (70%) in the abdominal cavity because of their frequent usage and small size. Moreover, a blood-soaked sponge in a hemorrhagic abdomen can be difficult to distinguish from blood. Conclusion Whenever the accounting for material depends on humans, mistakes will continue to be committed. A falsely correct sponge count was reported in 71.42% of cases [14]; therefore, a new count system must be developed for post-surgical situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-299
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Case Reports
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdomen
  • Bowel
  • Patient safety
  • Retained foreign body
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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