DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad241.475 ISSN:

307 Intraluminal Migration of Gossypiboma and rectal expulsion an unusual Case- Case Report

Azaz Ayubi, Sidra Rauf, Hamda Ajaz, Sheeza Mujahid, Ilyas Riaz, Nosheela Javed
  • Surgery



Gossypiboma refers to foreign body retained in the body at the end of operation and can be in the form of gauze, sponge or any form of textile resulting in grave consequences for both the patient and the surgeon.

Case Summary

A 23-year-old female presented with complain of generalized abdominal pain along with non-bilious vomiting since 10 days. She also had relative constipation since four days. Her past surgical history was unremarkable except for three elective lower segment caesarean sections at another hospital. Upon abdominal examination, she had a scar of pfannenstiel incision along with 3x4 cm swelling in umbilical region with positive cough impulse. Her bowel sounds were exaggerated. DRE was unyielding. Clinical diagnosis of subacute intestinal obstruction was made and she was managed conservatively. Ultrasound abdomen showed dilated gut loops with hyperperistalsis. It also revealed a defect measuring 8.5 cm in the supraumbilical region of anterior abdominal wall through which fat content was seen protruding. She was advised contrast enhanced CT abdomen, developed diarrhoea and later on expelled the surgical sponge per rectally. After passage of surgical sponge, condition of patient improved and symptoms resolved.


Diligent efforts are required to prevent this human error by ensuring meticulous sponge count, use of radio-opaque sponges, adjunctive use of WHO safety checklist and introduction of new advancements like tagging system in our healthcare system.


Gossypiboma is under-reported due to reluctance of institutions to report it to governing body. Reporting of such dreadful complications of surgery and analysis of their root cause should be done to prevent such events from happening.

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