Unveiling the Hidden Peril: A Rare Case of Gossypiboma in an Elderly Woman

  • Vinay H G Vamshodaya Hospital, Kolar, Karnataka, India
  • Naveen N Vamshodaya Hospital, Kolar, Karnataka, India
  • Ramprashanth M P Vamshodaya Hospital, Kolar, Karnataka, India
Keywords: Medico-legal, Surgical Complication, Foreign Body


Background: Revolutionary developments in the surgical field have led to a comparative reduction in surgeryassociated complications than in the past. However, some complications, which directly indicate surgeon’s negligence, should not be underestimated. Gossypibomas, a rare but horrifying complication of surgeries, occur when cotton foreign bodies are retained in the patient and are only discovered after long periods of time.

Methods: A 46-year-old diabetic anemic female, with a previous history of operative management for cancer of the cervix (stage IA2), presented with features suggesting sub-acute intestinal obstruction.

Results: Contrast Enhanced Computed Tomography (CECT) of the abdomen revealed a linear hyper-attenuating string-like structure in the distal bowel loop, suggesting a Retained Foreign Body. The patient was immediately taken up for exploratory laparotomy, and the retained foreign body was removed.

Conclusions: Although the diagnosis of Gossypibomas can be challenging at times, it is imperative to manage patients with this rare complication swiftly and precisely to prevent permanent future disabilities. Young surgeons should be made aware of the legal consequences of such a dreaded complication and should anticipate the diagnosis in bizarre surgical circumstances.