After undergoing a cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gall bladder) in 2001, Malad resident Rajkumari Mishra (65) thought that she had closed that painful chapter of her life. But she counted her blessings too soon.
A peaceful and healthy 12 years later, the pain came back. Imagine her shock when diagnostic tests revealed that it was being triggered by a 16-mm stent that had been left behind following the open surgery at KEM Hospital in Parel.
Mishra’s gall bladder was removed surgically in the Parel hospital on July 1, 2001. Before the major open surgery, she underwent a procedure known as endoscopic stenting, in which a stent was inserted in her bile duct to prevent it from narrowing due to the gall stones before the open surgery.
While the cholecystectomy was successfully conducted in 2001, the stent was not removed following the surgery, says Rajkumari’s son Anand. Doctors say that the stent should be removed within six weeks from the open surgery.
“My mother was doing just fine for the last 12 years after she underwent treatment at the hospital. But a few weeks back she started complaining of tremendous pain in her abdominal region,” he said.
“We also noticed that there was swelling in that area. When the symptoms did not subside over the next few days, we took her to a local doctor, after which a CT scan was conducted to determine the source of her pain,” he added.
The CT scan report said that Rajkumari has a 16-mm stent within her biliary system.
“Even the doctors we consulted were shocked to know that the stent had been inside her body for the past 12 years. No procedure was conducted to remove it, and nor were we informed about it during her recuperation in the hospital following surgery,” said Anand.
The mother-son duo was also informed that she is suffering from incisional hernia, which is the result of an incompletely healed surgical wound.
The Other Side
Dr Avinash Supe, dean of Sion hospital, who was previously the head of the gastroenterology department of KEM Hospital, said, “Though the patient was operated upon in my unit 12 years ago, I am unable to recall who performed it. However, I met the patient on Friday and after going through her medical records and CT scan, we decided that she should undergo an ERCP test on Monday to determine whether it is indeed a small piece of stent, or if the stones in that region have reformed. In such cases, it is not uncommon for stones to reform even after a cholecystectomy.”
He further explained that the CT scan report could be wrong and that sometimes after endoscopic stenting, a small piece can remain as the bile tends to get autolysed, causing the stent to break. “The patient didn’t have any major complains for 12 years and should have followed up with us much earlier in case of any discomfort,” said Dr Supe.