Connecticut VA Accused of Leaving Scalpel in Patient for 4 Years

Imagine having a knife lying inside your body right next to your stomach and intestines. Not a pleasant thought, is it? Well, it really happened to a Connecticut man. A surgeon allegedly left a scalpel inside his body — for four years.

According to WFSB-TV, about a year ago the man was dealing with dizziness and chronic abdominal pain. A military veteran, he scheduled an appointment to undergo an MRI at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System clinic in West Haven.

A scalpel in the abdomen for four years

The man’s stomach pain became so severe during the MRI that they had to stop the procedure. The man was able to make it through an X-ray of his abdomen, which revealed the surgical blade near his large intestine. Doctors operated to remove it last April.

Doctors believe the scalpel was from an operation the man underwent years earlier at the same VA hospital. The operation was to remove his prostate and was performed by “a rookie surgical trainee,” according to the victim’s attorney. The lawyer accused the unnamed surgeon of “losing the scalpel in [the victim’s] abdomen and not bothering to find it.”

“He just sewed him up and moved on to his next victim,” the attorney said.

The consequences of surgical errors

Unfortunate as he was, it is lucky that this man was not killed by this apparently extreme surgical error. Still, he endured years of unnecessary pain. You or a loved one may have experienced similar medical malpractice from a careless or incompetent surgeon. If you have, you may have huge medical bills for treatment and revision surgery, on top of lost wages. Not to mention the weeks, months or years of pain and suffering you have endured.