(Representational Image) A woman was diagnosed with sponges in her abdomen after she complained of bloating.Creative Commons

Doctors have found two surgical sponges inside a woman's abdomen, attached to her omentum – a membrane of tissues surrounding abdominal organs, probably left from one of the two C-sections she underwent six and nine years ago. However, when she approached her surgeon, he dismissed it altogether.

The woman met her surgeon and informed him about the retained foreign bodies after the diagnosis, but he did not admit his mistake on the grounds of lack of clear proof, CNN reported based on a report published in New England Journal of Medicine.

Surgical items, if left inside the body for long, can cause pain, bloating and discomfort. In some cases, they may even lead to sepsis or death.

The 42-year-old patient went to a primary care clinic in Japan complaining of bloating, according to a Live Science report published on Wednesday.

During the initial examination, doctors felt two masses near her hip bones on either side. A CT scan of her abdomen revealed there were actually two masses filled with "hyperdense, stringy structures".

Doctors removed the masses by laparotomy – a surgical procedure where a large incision is made through the abdominal wall to gain access into the abdominal cavity.

Following the retrieval, doctors cut them open and found gauze sponges.

Citing the journal report, CNN stated that the sponges were left behind after one of the woman's C-sections as she didn't have any other abdominal or pelvic surgeries. The patient had two C-section deliveries in the same gynecologic clinic – one six years back and other nine years back. The doctors could not conclude which one of the two surgeries was botched, but they were sure both the sponges were left behind during a single operation and not from each.

The patient was discharged from the hospital after five days of the removal.