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March 1990

The Retained Surgical Sponge Following Intra-abdominal Surgery: A Continuing Problem

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Dr Rappaport) and Gastroenterology (Dr Haynes), University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson.

Arch Surg. 1990;125(3):405-407. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410150127025

• The surgical sponge retained following intra-abdominal surgery is a continuing problem. Despite precautions, the incidence of this problem is grossly underestimated. During the past 10 years, we have treated four patients with this problem. The presentation of a retained surgical sponge is highly variable, as is the time before the onset of symptoms. The clinical presentation, predisposing factors, and management are presented as well as guidelines for prevention.

(Arch Surg. 1990;125:405-407)