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BMJ Case Rep. 2009;2009. pii: bcr07.2008.0519. doi: 10.1136/bcr.07.2008.0519. Epub 2009 Feb 26.

Retained surgical swab following breast augmentation: a rare cause of a breast mass.

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  • 1University Hospital of Wales, Academic Department of Surgery, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XW, UK.


Retained surgical swab or sponge following surgery is an uncommon finding seen most commonly following abdominal and pelvic procedures. Reports of such lesions in the breast are particularly rare with only two previously published cases. We report here the first case of a retained swab following breast augmentation where unique diagnostic problems are encountered because of the presence of implants. This case shows that a retained swab should be considered in the differential diagnosis of any postoperative breast mass and highlights that ignoring the fundamental principles of any surgical procedure can cause serious complications.

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