What is a “retained surgical body?”

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Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
August 4, 2023

A surgical procedure may be a Texas resident’s best option for healing their body and improving their health. Doctors are required to inform their patients of the potential risks they may face when they choose surgery and, based on that information, patients may make informed choices of just how they wish to have their health restored.

When a patient’s surgery day arrives there may be many individuals involved in their care. Hospital staff members may perform their intake and nurses may prep them for their procedure. They may speak with their doctor and confirm their decision to have surgery. All of these steps are put in place to ensure that patients have the right procedures on the right parts of their bodies so that they receive the right care.

However, once a surgical procedure begins, there are quite a few ways that problems can occur. One of those ways involves leaving surgical tools inside of patients once their procedures are over. Surgical equipment, such as sponges, gauze and even scalpels, have been left inside of individuals during their operations and, when this happens, these pieces of equipment are known as “retained surgical bodies.”

A retained surgical body can cause major complications in patients and it is estimated that they may affect one out of every thousand individuals who has abdominal surgery. Individuals who have experienced the trauma of retained surgical bodies should understand their rights and options for attempting to seek the recovery of their damages. Claims based on surgical errors and medical malpractice may be available to them.

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

August 4 2023

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

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