It may not be pleasant to think about, but the Journal of Radiology states that the leaving behind of surgical instruments or objects in a patients body is a highly underestimated problem. In fact, reports indicate that around 1,500 patients in the United States each year fall victim to this careless oversight. And repeated x-rays, scans and examinations often fail to locate the item, which can lead to painful complications. For example, a 12-inch-by-12-inch surgical sponge was recently found inside a patient that was treated for diverticulitis, a digestive disease of the large intestine. After months of pain and agony, the rotting sponge was discovered and resulted in damage that required part of the patients intestine be removed.