A Vietnamese man who went to hospital with stomach pains was found to have a pair of surgical scissors in his abdomen – from an operation 18 years ago.
Ma Van Nhat, now 54, underwent surgery in 1998 after a car accident, and carried on his life oblivious to the huge medical mistake.
He has only recently discovered that doctors left the scissors behind when they closed him up, and the implement was finally removed in an operation this weekend.
An ultrasound revealed he had the 15cm, or six inch, implement near his colon.
He had a three-hour operation at the weekend, according to Ngo Trung Thang, deputy head of general affairs at Gang Thep Thai Nguyen hospital, which is 50 miles north of Hanoi.
‘He is recovering well,’ Thang told AFP today.
Nhat had spent nearly two decades ‘eating, drinking and having a pretty normal life’, according to the Suc Khoe va Doi Song news site, which is the official mouthpiece of Vietnam’s health ministry.
The ultrasound that discovered the scissors only came about after Nhat reported stomach pains.
Officials said they were searching for the doctors who performed surgery in Bac Kan province in 1998, but have not yet tracked down any culprits.