Doctors in Vietnam were shocked to find that a man who complained of stomach pains had a pair of surgical forceps lodged in his abdomen.
Ma Van Nhat, 54, had undergone an operation following a car accident in 1998, according to the Daily Mail. It turns out that the doctors who performed the surgery neglected to remove the instrument from his stomach before sewing him back up.
As a result, Nhat lived the past 18 years with the tool in his stomach.
Only recently did Nhat start to experience adverse effects from the medical blunder. He went to the doctor complaining of abdominal pains, and was shocked when presented with the results of his X-rays.
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The forceps were about 6 inches in length and were situated right next to his colon. They had broken off near the handle on one side, and had become rusty, as well.
An operation to remove them took about three hours. The presiding surgeons noted that the rusty handles had become stuck to Nhat's organs, according to the BBC.
Nevertheless, the operation was a success, and Nhat is expected to make a full recovery.
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"He is recovering well," said Ngo Trung Thang, deputy head of general affairs at the hospital.
The Health Ministry has ordered an investigation to find out which doctors were responsible for the error in 1998. So far there are no leads, and doctors have indicated that hospitals in Vietnam don't typically keep records for longer than 15 years, the BBC reports.