Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 177, Issue 4, pp 389–391

Gossypiboma: a case report and review of the literature

  • F. Kiernan
  • M. Joyce
  • C. K. Byrnes
  • H. O’Grady
  • F. B. V. Keane
  • P. Neary
Case Report

DOI: 10.1007/s11845-008-0197-0

Cite this article as:
Kiernan, F., Joyce, M., Byrnes, C.K. et al. Ir J Med Sci (2008) 177: 389. doi:10.1007/s11845-008-0197-0

Abstract

Introduction

Post-operative complications in surgery may frequently be unavoidable. However, some complications result from human error, both in the intra-operative and post-operative period. One such complication, which is frequently underreported, is the retained swab, or gossypiboma.

Case report

We report a case from our hospital of a patient who presented with unexplained pyrexia, 4 years post-gynaecological surgery in another institution. A 67-year-old woman from overseas presented to our emergency department with a 2-day-history of pyrexia, collapse and confusion. Following a CT guided biopsy, which was inconclusive, she was scheduled for retroperitoneal biopsy. In theatre, a retained swab was discovered.

Conclusion

Prevention of gossypiboma is far better than cure. Strict adherence to swab counts, and the avoidance of change of staff during procedures is important in decreasing the incidence. Perhaps, with the increasing use of minimally invasive procedures, the incidence of gossypiboma will fall dramatically.

Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Kiernan
    • 1
  • M. Joyce
    • 1
  • C. K. Byrnes
    • 1
  • H. O’Grady
    • 1
  • F. B. V. Keane
    • 1
  • P. Neary
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Department of General and Vascular SurgeryAdelaide and Meath HospitalDublin 24Ireland

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