Vietnamese doctors remove pair of scissors colleagues left in patient for 18 years

The pair of medical scissors lied in his stomach for 18 years

This pair of medical scissors had been left in the belly of M.V.N., 54, for 18 years before it was removed on December 31, 2016.

Vietnamese doctors have retrieved a pair of medical scissors that their colleagues had left in the stomach of a man for nearly two decades.

The operation to take the scissors out of the belly of M.V.N., 54, took place on Saturday at Cast-Iron and Steel Hospital in the northern province of Thai Nguyen, with support from medical professionals from Hanoi.

The pair of scissors had been stuck in the patient’s stomach for 18 years, surgeons said, adding that it lied on the left side of the belly, next to the colon.

The handles of the pair of scissors had become rusty and some of the organs had stuck to the medical device, doctors said.

N. had not felt anything strange over the years and never visited a doctor for any problem related to the pair of scissors inside his body until recently, a surgeon involved in the operation said.

N., hailing from the northern province of Bac Kan, got into a road accident in December so he came to Cast-Iron and Steel Hospital for a medical check.

An ultrasound test then showed that there was a strange object in his guts, believed to be a pair of medical scissors.

N. claimed he had gone under the knife at Bac Kan General Hospital in June 1998 and has never had any more medical operation since.

Recently he felt some pain in the belly area, trying to treat it with medicines in vain.

On December 27, N. returned to Bac Kan General Hospital for another ultrasound scan that also showed the same strange object.

The Ministry of Health has required the management of the hospital in Bac Kan, where doctors allegedly left the pair of scissors in N.’s body after the surgery in 1998, to investigate the incident and report its results.

But medical professionals say hospitals tend to file patient records for only 15 years so it will be hard to find out who is to blame in N.’s case.


The pair of scissors is seen on an X-ray film. Photo: Cast-Iron and Steel Hospital

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