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Clamp left in me after surgery! Clamp left in me after surgery!

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Unread 10-16-2005, 06:59 PM
Clamp left in me after surgery!

It's been 1 year and four months since my complete hysterectomy. I went to my primary care doc because of pain in my right side. I thought it was phantom pain since all my female organs had been removed. She did an xray because she thought it might be back pain. The Xray revealed a clamp had been left in me. ANy advice????

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Unread 10-16-2005, 07:07 PM
Clamp left in me after surgery!

A clamp!!! Good grief. I don't know what kind of advice to give you<Oopa! Hystersisters guidelines ask that legal actions not be discussed.>. That seems more than a bit negligent~~~
Unread 10-16-2005, 07:21 PM

Dear Happy1now,
I can't believe this!!! I have been through negligence myself, not to this extent, but negligence is negligence!!!
I'd be seeing a new doc <Oops! Legal reference removed per website guidelines>!!!
Have they removed the clamp as yet??? Or have they explained anything to you???
I am in shock! Doctors have a major responsibility to make us better, not worse!
God Bless you, and I hope everything works out for you. Keep us posted on how you are doing.
Love Radical. xxxx
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Unread 10-16-2005, 07:54 PM
Clamp left in me after surgery!

How awful for you!!

<Oops! Legal references removed per website guidelines.>
Unread 10-17-2005, 09:01 AM
The leftover clamp in me...

Well.....I just found out about it one week ago. As of yet Ive done nothing. Honestly I dont know what to do. I think so highly of my doctor. I just want to either get it out of there or find out if it is something that somehwo I can live with. My primary care physicians response when she saw it in the xray was "Oh well, it happens all the time." and laughed it off. She said, "Does it bother you?" I said well it does now. Plus I went in to see her because of pain int hat area of my body. So I guess my answer to her question is yes, it does bother me. My current plan of action is to obtain the copies of the xray. TOday Im going to call my Gyne and make an appointment to discuss this with him. I do think it needs to come out.
Unread 10-17-2005, 10:30 AM
Clamp left in me after surgery!


I'm so sorry this is happening to you. Unfortunately, while this is uncommon, it does happen. A Google search on "instruments left behind" gives several accounts of occurrences of clamps, sponges, and other surgical tools being left inside patients. I know that knowing you're not alone probably doesn't help right now, but you really are not alone.

I can completely understand why you'd want the clamp removed. If it were me, every twinge I'd feel would make me wonder if it was the clamp causing the pain.

I hope you get some resolution to this issue soon.
Unread 10-17-2005, 11:04 AM
Clamp left in me after surgery!

I am so impressed with your level headedness. You seem very calm, which is just where you need to be to make good decisions.I wish you the best and offer two pieces of advise.Take along a trusted friend to "witness" the exchange you and your doc have. Try and compose a list of questions before you arrive. I wish you all the best, keep us posted,we care
Unread 10-17-2005, 11:23 AM
Clamp left in me after surgery!

The good news on that is my husbadn attended last weeks doctors appt with me when we noticed it. I initially took it very laid back because of how my primary care doc reacted. She said, "You had surgery not so long ago right? THat probably a left over sponge or small clamp." She said it so casually. I said, OH NO! She said, "Has it bothered you?" I said "I guess not but it does NOW!" ANd she laughed and said it happens all the time. So I guess my reaction was because of hers. But here we are a week later and the pain is still there and now knowing the "thing" is in there Im nervous about it. Ive been doing alot of online searching of the best way to handle this. I dont want it to stay in there. I dread the idea of more surgery though. But it shoudl come out. ANd soon.
Unread 10-17-2005, 12:19 PM
Clamp left in me after surgery!

I do agree with you. I would want it out andwould ahave a shard time relaxing until the situation was resolved.
Unread 10-17-2005, 02:55 PM
Clamp left in me after surgery!

There is no way you should go through life with a clamp inside you; it could increase the risk of adhesions, it could potentially cause pain, any number of complications could occur. SEE
AHRQ-funded Study Examines Risk Factors For Retained Instruments and Sponges After Surgery January 17, 2003, Issue No. 84
An AHRQ-funded study in the January 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine estimates that a surgical instrument or sponge is left in more than 1,500 patients during surgery each year. Researchers, led by Atul Gawande, M.D., M.P.H., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard University in Boston, studied 54 patients who had a total of 61 foreign bodies left inside them after surgery. Of the 61 foreign bodies, 69 percent were sponges and 31 percent were surgical instruments. The study found that patients who had emergency surgery were nine times more likely to have a sponge or surgical instrument left in their body; the risk increased by four times for patients who had unplanned changes in their procedure. Patients who had a higher body mass index were found to be more likely to have a foreign body left after surgery. Researchers conclude that a number of techniques are available to reduce the incidence of foreign bodies left in patients after surgery, including counting instruments and sponges before and after procedures and x-raying patients for instruments that may have inadvertently been left behind.

SEE also
BMC Surg. 2003; 3: 6.
Published online 2003 September 8. doi: 10.1186/1471-2482-3-6.
The term "gossypiboma" denotes a cotton foreign body that is retained inside the patient during surgery [1]. It has been reported to occur following surgical procedures such as abdominal, thoracic, cardiovascular, orthopedic, and even neurosurgical operations [1-5]. Although the real incidence is unknown, it has been reported as 1 in 100 to 3000 for all surgical interventions and 1 in 1000 to 1500 for intraabdominal operations [6,7]. Nonspecific clinical symptoms and inconclusive imaging findings may preclude an accurate diagnosis [8]. However, it can be diagnosed preoperatively in many instances with the help of radiological studies such as plain radiography when surgical textile materials have been impregnated with a radio-opaque marker, ultrasonography (USG), computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and gastrointestinal contrast series [9-13]. Although some non-surgical approaches such as percutaneous radiological retrieval of foreign bodies are reported, they might either be unsuccessful or generate attendant complications [14]. Surgery is the most reliable method for removing foreign bodies especially from the abdomen. Development of a fistula to neighboring organs such as stomach, duodenum or intestine occurs infrequently [7,15,16]. The longer the retention time, the higher is the fistulization risk. Foreign bodies (e.g. surgical sponge) may completely migrate into the ileum without any apparent opening in the intestinal wall [17]. They usually cannot pass the ileocecal valve and cause complete intestinal obstruction at this level. However, if they can pass through this valve, they are easily discharged through the anus. On the other hand, if foreign bodies are too large (e.g. laparotomy towel) to move into the intestinal lumen, they cause bowel obstruction. We report a case with a retained laparotomy towel causing an acute mechanical intestinal obstruction due to its partial migration into the small bowel. To the best of our knowledge, this is the second reported patient in whom the exact site of migration of a retained surgical textile material into the intestinal lumen could be demonstrated by preoperative imaging studies after the first published case by Dux and associates [7].

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