Surgeons Leave 18-Inch Surgical Sponge Inside Woman During Hysterectomy

A British woman lost part of her bowel after doctors accidentally left a surgical sponge inside her body during a routine hysterectomy, London’s Daily Mail reported.

Susan Misiewicz, 44, said she had internal bleeding and a lot of pain after her initial surgery, but she was given antibiotics. A second surgery attempted to correct the problem, but to no avail. A CT scan finally revealed the real problem – an 18-inch surgical sponge was wrapped around her bowel.

A third surgery to remove the sponge forced doctors to remove Misiewicz’s bowel.

“I was shocked by the size of the thing,” Misiewicz said. “I put it over one of my cushions, and it covered it.”

Misiewicz said no one is coming forward to take responsibility for the mistake, and she has not been able to go back to work full-time since the incident.

Misiewicz was referred for a hysterectomy by a gynecologist at Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham.

The local Primary Care Trust contacted Misiewicz with her options, and she chose to have her operation at Woodthrope Hospital. However, her third surgery was performed at Nottingham City Hospital.

Carl Cottam, general manager of Woodthrope, said the incident is still under investigation, but would not comment on the size of the surgical sponge.

“She was seen at Queen’s Medical Center and referred by us for treatment. But the Primary Care Trust then took over . . .and they pay for her treatment, so she (has) nothing to do with us,” said a spokesman for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

A spokeswoman for NHS Nottinghamshire, formerly the PCT, said it will investigate the incident and ensure appropriate actions are taken.

“It is scandalous that Mrs. Misiewicz, and other patients who suffer adverse consequences following treatment performed under NHS waiting list initiatives, are left with this uncertainty in identifying who bears responsibility for their injuries,” said Misiewicz’s lawyer Julie Hardy.

Click here to read more on this story from the Daily Mail and to see a picture of Misiewicz with a replica of the sponge.