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Complications From Objects Left Inside A Patient After Surgery

When a person has an operation, he or she entrusts a surgeon’s experience and expertise to perform the surgery and do more good than harm. A surgical procedure can require the use of a great deal of medical equipment, from scalpels and sponges to gloves and clamps. Although leaving a surgical instrument in a person’s body after a surgical procedure seems like something that would hardly ever happen, thousands of objects are left behind in a person’s body each year. Leaving a foreign object such as a surgical sponge or scalpel inside of a person’s body post-surgery can be a textbook case of medical malpractice

Complications from a Foreign Object in the Body Post-Surgery

How quickly a person will experience complications from a foreign object left behind in the body–along with what types of complications a person experiences–depends largely on the type of object that is left behind.

A sharp metal object, such as a scalpel or surgical needle, can leave a patient in excruciating pain as the object penetrates the tissue in the patient’s body. These objects can shift from their original location and travel through the body, puncturing and lacerating organs every step of the way.  

Depending on the size and shape of the instrument, metal objects left behind in a person’s body can lie dormant for quite some time before complications arise. Softer objects such as surgical sponges, however, are breeding grounds for bacteria, and can result in a massive infection in the area where the sponge was left behind.

The health complications from objects being left behind in the body post-surgery can be devastating. When a foreign object is left behind in the body after surgery, another surgery is almost always required in order to remove the instrument that should never have been left behind in the first place. 

Compensation Available to Victims of Foreign Objects Left in the Body After Surgery

Victims of surgeries where foreign objects are left in the body can be eligible for financial compensation through a medical malpractice action. A successful lawsuit can provide compensation for: 

  • Medical expenses such as surgical costs and hospital stays
  • Costs for rehabilitation and medication or medical equipment needed after surgery
  • Time missed from work due to complications from the foreign object that was left in the body
  • Physical pain suffered as a result of the foreign object that was left in the body after surgery
  • Emotional trauma endured because of the complications, such as depression, anxiety, and an inability to sleep

Suffering Complications from a Foreign Object Left in Your Body After Surgery? We Can Help

If you underwent a surgical procedure in Philadelphia and discovered that a surgical instrument was left behind in your body after your surgery, the best step that you can take to protect your rights is to contact a seasoned medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. At Gilman & Bedigian, our attorneys are committed to providing our clients with the quality representation they need to secure the compensation they deserve. To speak with a member of our medical malpractice team about your case, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian
Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm’s litigation practice.  Briggs’ legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 


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