Unintentionally retained foreign bodies (RFBs) can be accompanied with acute reactions such as inflammatory responses, infections and abscesses within a few days or weeks after surgery with adverse consequences for patients and surgeons.
An 84-year-old woman was admitted to hospital with weakness, lethargy and infectious secretions of the umbilicus. The patient had undergone hysterectomy 21 years before. Clinical examinations and accurate umbilicus explorations found a 0.5-mm fibrin and smelly umbilical secretions. Dragging found the fibrin to be a surgical gauze thread. The patient was therefore identified as a candidate for laparotomy, which revealed a long gauze attached to a band and a metal ring in the umbilicus and hypogastric regions as well as a large abscess containing 200 ml of infectious secretions, severe adhesions of the intestines to each other and to the abdominal wall, a 10×10 cm cavity and an approximately 1-cm fistula or laceration in the Ileum due to the foreign body (long gauze). The patient was discharged from the hospital in good health conditions after the final surgery.
Given the possibility of leaving foreign bodies in the surgery site, surgical teams are required to precisely control surgical instruments after surgery.