Foreign bodies in the postoperative setting

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Retained foreign bodies that may be encountered in the postoperative setting

Two retained foreign bodies that may be encountered in the postoperative setting are laparotomy pads (surgical sponges) and suture needles. Laparotomy pads are not radiopaque but usually have a thin ribbon-like radiopaque strip embedded within them so that they may be visualized on a radiograph. Suture needles usually appear as thin small curvilinear radiopacities and can sometimes mimic the appearance of a surgical clip on a radiograph when viewed “edge-on”; therefore, two orthogonal radiographs are preferable when searching for a retained foreign body.

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