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Doctor Leaves Gauze in Patient After Stitching Her Up

Mommy Alert! Be in Control of Your Body

You may think this story is stolen straight from an episode of Grey's Anatomy, but this really happened. My friend called last night and told me this whole saga from beginning to end. I still can hardly believe it.

She's a brand new mom to a three–week–old baby boy. And, has been feeling some pain down south — even her stitches. But, since she was on meds for the first postpartum week, she didn't notice anything odd. During her second week, she assumed it was normal to still feel sore.

This week, however, she started to notice a strange odor and increasing pain and figured something wasn't right. So, she called her doctor yesterday and explained her condition. The OB/GYN told her to come in. To find out what happened,


My friend got back in the stirrups for the exam so if you have a weak stomach, stop reading. The physician quickly found the problem — a large wad of gauze that had been left inside her vajayjay when she was stitched up after giving birth.

The doc profusely apologized and removed the gauze, but unfortunately my friend now has a serious yeast infection. Additionally, the original stitches didn't mend the tear since the gauze interfered, so she had to be put under a local anesthetic and sewn up again.

As a new mom, my friend was convinced she was being a wimp about the pain of recovery, but it turned out that her instincts were correct and something was awry.

It's a good reminder to everyone that you are the best judge of your body. If you feel something is not right, don't hesitate to call your doctor.


Join The Conversation
nervousdaddy nervousdaddy 4 years
I have been on the computer searching and searching for what could be wrong with my girlfriend. We recently gave birth to our first baby 3 weeks ago. She has had been in so much pain and she is is trying not to take pills (she has been through rehab years ago). She is having the same symptoms as some of you above. (I re-read this and will warn the reader that I got a little graphic) But to add to the a fever, odors, bleeding, and pain she has had large blood clots (1st clot size well it big enough to re-rip her a little, a few smaller ones after but often), trouble urinating, and headaches, now I found her sitting there sobbing because of the pain. She even started taking pills 3 days ago. We have gone back to her OBG a couple times, No testing..... just gave her antibiotics for a bladder infection, then the next visit pills for a kidney infection and the last visit her doctor was not there so the other doctor (his partner) (first before the last visit she called in for the pills and this other doctor treated her like she was a drug addict and told her NO!) Do get me going on that! But her last visit he took blood (and missed , shes all bruised) and gave her a shot in the back for a yeast infection! Why no one will take the ten extra minutes with her to check is driving me nuts! Does anyone have a clue what I should do to help her??? We live in Puyallup WA. Any suggestions, The ER is out they wont see her because she just had delivered. It is the 23rd of December and I had planned to ask for her hand in marriage on Christmas morning but can't do that to her if she is in pain. NervousDaddy
aprilmama7 aprilmama7 5 years
I have never posted on a public forum like this, but as many others I was searching for info on what happened to me.  I just had my first baby not even a week ago and i am very educated on what to expect.  I was not in pain that i could not handle, I just noticed a really bad smell, but thought it was normal.  my fiance would notice it after i went to the bathroom it was embarrassing.  Tonight I was in the shower cleaning my private trying to scrub cause of the smell and it felt like there was something protruding from it something pretty big, I was terrified.  Got a hand mirror and had my fiance look at it.  He said it looked like feces and I saw it and immediately called doc answering service.  She told me to pull it out (could not believe that)  turns out it was a ball of gauze about the size of a plum soaked in blood of course.  It had been inside me for 5 days at this point.  I did not want to complain like many other women and I was so focused on my new baby that I took the back burner.  I was taking excellent care of myself down there though and I knew something was wrong.  My mom wants to file a lawsuit, I just wanna make sure im okay.  She told me to buy a bottle of betadine and use that, then called back and told me to come to office tom. just to be safe.  She is trying to cover her butt I think.  I only post to share my story to help others and please if any doubt better safe than sorry.
allotta21 allotta21 5 years
I beleive it because the same thing happended to me. Except I got toxic shock syndrome. It put my body into shock and my organs started shutting down 1 by 1. Im glad ur friend is ok and doing better
MissSushi MissSushi 8 years
omg.. thats awful chey.. I had gauze left in me, but not in my unmentionable. It was left in my belly button after gallbladder surgery.. the kicker? they didnt even go THROUGH my belly button, they just made an initial cut there and deicided to go below.. I found it 3 weeks later when i was determined to find out why my belly button smelled odd.
chey145 chey145 9 years
If you can believe it, this EXACT thing happened to me... that is how I found this post, searching for others who have had this horrible experience happen. Its been over 3 years for me, and I STILL have issues.... I kept calling my OB telling him that I KNEW something was wrong, and he kept putting me off and putting me off.... After finally offending my mother with my "stench" I went to my PCP who had to CUT the gauze out of me. 3 feet worth of gauze... worst day of my life.
VelmaBean VelmaBean 9 years
I used to volunteer for an organization helping women prepare for vaginal births after cesarean and you would be AMAZED at how many women I met that had had things left behind after cesarean surgery, gauze, sponges, it was shocking to me how many women had really serious infections coming out of their first births because of negligence. Unfortunately it seems too often as women and new moms we often put our own pain and discomfort on the back burner which can make these situations even worse - good for your friend for seeking help sooner than later.
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 9 years
Oh, your poor friend! She is lucky she didn't get a worse infection, but still... Wow, great story timing, since I have to go to the doc tomorrow. Thank goodness it's only a check up, so no stitches or gauze will be involved!
DulceSkye DulceSkye 9 years
Oh wow, how awful! :(
emmad18 emmad18 9 years
Your poor friend. Thank god she trusted her insticts...that could have gotten really out of hand. I'm a student midwife, and I just can't understand how this was missed?? I'm not sure how it's done in the States but over here we carry out daily checks of each woman head to toe, whether she had an SVD, Section, tears, episiotemy or no tears, including an examination of how the perineum is healing. This shouldn;t have been missed, thank goodness your friend know how to listen to what her body is telling her.
sweetnshy5282 sweetnshy5282 9 years
3 weeks w/ gauze sewn inside of her. she is very lucky she only got a yeast infection and not something much worse! what a terrible thing to happen to a new momma, she has so much else to worry about right now. well, good luck to her! and she should sue the pants off the doctor who screwed up, because that kind of thing should never have happened!
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
mother of god, she could have a real issue with her open cervix and old crusty gauze in her who-ha. poor thing. mistakes happen my ass, and an appology wouldn't cut it for me. if you left something like that and had to re sew his dick i bet he'd think differently!
Cate-McG Cate-McG 9 years
That's horrible. As a college student I shadowed physicians in the OR, and the nurses ALWAYS counted the sponges as they went in and again as they came out. Do they not do that in the delivery room? If not, they should!
elaine elaine 9 years
great just one more thing ill prolly worry about during delivery....
sweetnsour sweetnsour 9 years
I mean mistakes happen, but my goodness...Thank God she was persistent.
rgrl rgrl 9 years
Well, I've heard worse, but thank god she found out early enough and she is recovering fully now. Out of all the things that could happen this was "fixable" at least. I don't know if I'd trust the same hospital or doctor again.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 9 years
Ummmm, No...that hospital had better be thanking their stars that they weren't slapped with a major lawsuit there. Think about it...on a box of tampons they warn you about Toxic Shock Syndrome, which can be fatal. So how is it any different if there's a piece of gauze still inside of you? Poor woman...but I hope at least now she's recovering quickly.
Moms Moms 9 years
I'm queasy thinking about it!
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
OMG, that's so horrible.
luckyme luckyme 9 years
Yeeesh...that's a shame! You are most definitely uncomfortable for a while after having a baby...but I guess the moral of the story is to trust your instincts! I would rather waste the docs time than have something serious happen.
juliegal juliegal 9 years
wingedkiare wingedkiare 9 years
That's horrible! I'd say more, but I'm in shock that it would even happen (though mistakes do seem to be more common these days).
lawyerjenn lawyerjenn 9 years
And I'm of course just furious (see user name--lawyer). MED MAL SUIT. There is NO EXCUSE for leaving gauze in a patient. ANYWHERE. EVER. It's called the deviation from the standard of care. She might not have permanent scarring, issues, etc but HELL NO--that is not okay. Neither she nor her insurer should have to pay the medical bills for her doctor's negligence. Okay, I'm done ranting. I just feel awful because I regularly deal with patients who are on the receiving end of this kind of stuff and it's really frustrating.
Novaraen Novaraen 9 years scary!! As women, that is the last place we want something to go wrong! yikes!!
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