A woman in Australia is suing a doctor for negligence after a grapefruit-sized surgical sponge was left by mistake in her abdomen for 15 years following a bowel operation, The Sydney Morning Herald reported Monday.

Helen Caroline Anne O'Hagan claims the sponge was left behind during a colectomy in August 1992. As a result, O'Hagan said she suffered from long-term health issues including cramps, fevers and loss of bowel control.

The sponge was finally was discovered – and removed – in October 2007 after an X-ray.

O'Hagan was given permission by the court to sue Dr. Samuel Sakker, who carried out the 1992 operation at Sydney's Poplars Private Hospital, for alleged negligence or breach of contract.
The case gets underway this week.

Click here to read more from The Sydney Morning Herald.