A young woman in New Zealand had been experiencing abdominal pain for a year and a half following her pregnancy. According to 9News Australia, she had visited her general practitioner multiple times, complaining of discomfort in her lower abdomen.
However, the cause remained a mystery until a CT scan revealed a startling diagnosis.
The woman had given birth via cesarean section, and it was during this procedure that medical professionals made a grave error. They left a "wound protection retractor" inside her—a surgical instrument used to keep surgical incisions open.
This plate-sized tool was the source of her prolonged suffering.
Invisible on x-rays
The reason the instrument went undetected for so long was not coincidental.
According to New Zealand's Health Commissioner Morag McDowell, such surgical tools are not visible on standard X-ray images. McDowell described the incident as "significantly below the expected standard of care."
Apologies and further actions
Upon learning of the oversight, the surgical team involved expressed their regret. McDowell recommended that the medical staff write an apology to the affected woman and offer a meeting to discuss the surgical error.
Whether additional sanctions will be imposed on the responsible doctors is still under review.