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January 24, 2018 04:45 PM

An Army veteran claims that a surgical instrument was left inside his body following a 2013 operation, and remained there until it was discovered four years later, according to a lawsuit.

Glenford Turner, 61, underwent a radical prostatectomy in 2013 — performed by a trainee surgeon — at VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven Campus, the lawsuit stated.

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“Subsequent to the surgery, [Turner] had unidentifiable abdominal pain at the time,” the veteran’s lawyer Joel Faxon told NPR. “Nobody could ever really figure out what it was.”

It wasn’t until March 2017, during an MRI for an unrelated issue that the object, described as a “5 inch scalpel handle” in another court document, was found in Turner’s abdomen, between his bladder and rectum.

During the MRI, the magnet in the machine “reacts to the scalpel in his abdomen, and you have to stop the procedure because he has all this pain,” said Faxon. “The scalpel’s moving around in there.”

It was finally removed in April 2017, reported the Boston Globe.

“It’s perplexing to me how they could be so incompetent that a scalpel that really should only be on the exterior of your body not only goes into the body but then is sewn into the body,” Faxon, said. “It’s a level of incompetence that’s almost incomprehensible.”

Of the lawsuit, the VA Connecticut, said: “VA does not typically comment on pending litigation.”

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