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Family baffled at items left behind after loved one's surgery

For many Albuquerque residents, knowing that a loved one has suffered some kind of surgical complication is often difficult to ascertain. Even surgeries that are deemed to be successful can leave patients looking overwhelmed, at least to the untrained eye. However, when a surgeon reappears at a patient's bedside to remove an object that was left behind during the operation, it is plain to everyone that something has gone wrong.

This is what one family alleges happened when their loved one went in for surgery as a result of diverticulitis. According to the family, a few days after the operation, the doctor and other staff members came into the room to check on the patient. Family members say that the doctor then pulled out a long piece of tape from the surgical site in the man's stomach.

The man's wife said that the tape appeared to be left behind from packing that was not removed when the surgery was concluded. However, nobody from the hospital, including the doctor involved, would tell her exactly what had occurred regarding the apparent surgical error. Additionally, the family says that the doctor was rude to them and chastised them for allowing the patient to have gained a lot of weight.

The family also reviewed the doctor's history and found that he had been suspended in the past due to substance abuse; the doctor also served several days in jail when he was arrested for resisting arrest.

Now, the family wants answers. People in a situation such as this may wish to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney for guidance.

Source: Fox 5, "FOX 5 Investigates: Medical Mistakes," Sherri Ly, Nov. 4, 2013

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