Complications Arise from a Surgical Sponge Left in a Man’s Body

Mr. R suffered from a condition known as nocturia.  Nocturia causes a person to wake frequently due to irregular bladder functions, or because the body produces an excess of urine.  After three years of unsuccessful treatment, Mr. R’s urologist, Dr. G, suggested surgery to correct the problem.

On April 2, 2012, Dr. G implanted a device called an InterStim into Mr. R.  This device is designed to deliver small electrical pulses to the nerves above the tailbone to control Mr. R’s bladder functions.

Two weeks after the procedure, Mr. R’s incision site began showing signs of infection, including large amounts of discharge.  Mr. R continued to experience frequent trips to the bathroom during the night, as well.

Dr. G decided to perform another surgical procedure to remove the implant from Mr. R.  When the site was opened there was pus in the cavity along with a surgical sponge, know as a Raytec, that was negligently left behind by Dr. G and his surgical assistants from the first surgery.

Mr. R’s surgical records indicated that sponges were counted three times during the implant procedure, and that all sponges were accounted for at the end.  The circulating nurse and surgical scrub tech had a duty to perform an accurate count in order to assure that no foreign bodies were left behind.  In this case, both the nurse and the scrub tech failed to perform an accurate count.

It was also noted that an x-ray was not performed after the surgery.  Raytec sponges contain a strip that is detectable on an x-ray.  Had an x-ray been performed, the sponge would have been visible, and it would never have been left behind inside Mr. R for a month, causing a serious internal infection.

Mr. R is hesitant to have another nerve stimulator implanted because of the pain and anxiety caused by Dr. G’s botched first attempt.  Mr. R continues to suffer from severe nocturia.

Donna MacKenzie and Jules Olsman will represent Mr. R in a lawsuit against Dr. G and his professional group the Michigan Institute of Urology, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital where the procedure was performed, and staff members who took part in the surgery.


InterStim nerve stimulator

surgical foreign body

Raytec surgical sponge