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Clinical Spectrum of Gossypiboma: Case Series and Review of Literature

1 Department of GI Surgery, Command Hospital, Northern Command, Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir, India
2 Department of Surgery, 92 Base Hospital, Srinagar, India
3 Department of Surgery, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
4 Department of Pathology, Command Hospital Northern Command, Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir, India
5 Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Command Hospital, Eastern Command, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Priya Ranjan,
Department of GI Surgery, Command Hospital Northern Command, Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_75_21

Gossypiboma is a term used to describe retained surgical sponge after surgery. This is an avoidable clinical condition causing significant morbidity and mortality. The clinical presentation is variable and often a diagnostic enigma. The consequences of gossypiboma are undesirable, disappointing, and have medicolegal implications for the surgical team. We report three cases of gossypiboma with varying clinical spectrums. The first case had gastric outlet obstruction due to retained surgical sponge after open cholecystectomy. It had eroded both into the first part of the duodenum and transverse colon. Endoscopic and radiological evaluation helped to establish the diagnosis of duodenocolic fistula with gastric outlet obstruction. The second patient was treated for penetrating abdominal wound and presented with persistent fever with discharging sinus at the wound site. The third patient had undergone exploratory laparotomy for recurrent hydatid cyst of the liver and, in addition to recurrent hydatid cyst, a surgical sponge was also found. All these patients had retained surgical sponges but different clinical presentations. These patients underwent exploratory laparotomy and surgical removal of the retained surgical item (RSI) followed by a successful recovery. Gossypiboma should be considered as a differential diagnosis in all unexplained postoperative sepsis, intestinal obstruction, and intra-abdominal mass. Standard surgical safety measures in the operative room help to prevent the incidence of RSIs.

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