Imagine going in for an X-ray for abdominal pain, only to find out you had a surgical tool left inside your body from an operation the previous month. Most surgical procedures involve removing problematic things like tumors, not leaving behind items that will only cause you harm later! Unfortunately, objects left behind after surgery are a common cause for a medical malpractice claim in Virginia.

Common Objects Left Behind After Surgery

Luckily the more common objects left behind after surgery are soft items like surgical sponges or gauze. But even soft objects can eventually cause complications as they irritate your body.

Some other common objects left behind after surgery include: 

  • clamps;
  • needles;
  • knife blades;
  • pins;
  • tubing;
  • wires; and
  • broken pieces of surgical tools. 

Because some surgeries can involve the use of more than 600 sponges, counting surgical equipment before and after a procedure is critical to avoid leaving an object inside a patient. Objects left behind during surgery often result in the patient filing a Virginia medical malpractice claim.

Complications from Objects Left Behind After Surgery

Some patients who are the victims of medical malpractice never know there were objects left behind after surgery. In many medical malpractice claims, the patient undergoes an X-ray or CT scan for an unrelated condition and another doctor discovers the foreign object. Unfortunately, many cases are discovered when the patient complains of distress from the object.

Objects left behind after surgery can cause: 

  • pain;
  • irritation of internal organs;
  • internal lacerations and punctures;
  • internal bleeding; and
  • infection.  

The discovery of objects left behind after surgery means that another surgical procedure must be done to remove the object, which creates more recovery time and medical expenses.

When you go in for surgery, you shouldn't have to worry about additional procedures to correct what the first doctor did incorrectly. This only generates extra expenses and lost time because of recovery from a surgeon's negligence. When you've been the victim of a surgical error such as this, you should consider filing a medical malpractice claim in Virginia with the help of a Fairfax medical malpractice attorney.

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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized car accident and ERISA disability attorney in Fairfax, VA.