Woman Lives With Forgotten Surgical Scissors in Her Abdomen for 20 Years

A Bangladeshi woman who lived with constant pain in her abdomen for 20 years was shocked to discover that she had lived with surgical scissors forgotten in her body after an operation.

55-year-old Bachena Khatun had been living with constant abdominal pain ever since undergoing a gallstone removal operation at a clinic in Chuadanga, in 2002. After spending her life savings on the operation, the woman was discharged from the clinic with a prescription, but within a couple of days she started experiencing pain in her stomach. She went back to the clinic, but her surgeon – who had been supervised by two other doctors during the operation – dismissed her concerns, explaining that the pain was normal and that she shouldn’t worry. He was wrong, and he wasn’t the only one.

Photo: Piron Guillaume/Unsplash

Because the abdominal pain persisted, Bachena then went from one doctor to another, explaining that the surgery had left her with a constant ache, but all she received were prescription medications to mitigate the symptom. Over the years, the Bangladeshi woman was forced to sell two cows, her last assets, to pay for treatment and medicines to hopefully make the pain go away.

Unfortunately, all of Bachena’s efforts were in vain, and her abdominal pain recently became unbearable. This time, on the advice of a doctor, she finally underwent an abdominal x-ray, which revealed a pair of surgical scissors that had most likely been forgotten there from her gallbladder removal surgery, 20 years ago.

Last week, Bachena Khatun was admitted to Chuadanga Sadar Hospital, where doctors struggled to keep her diabetes in check, in order to conduct the scissors removal surgery safely. She had the operation on Monday and is now recovering.

Civil Surgeon Dr Jawaherul Islam said that a three-member committee has been formed to investigate how the surgical scissors remained inside Bachena’s abdomen for so long.

Such cases are not very common, but not unheard of either. Back in 2019, we reported the case of a Russian woman who had a surgical clamp in her abdomen for 23 years.

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