Scissors pulled from Vietnam man's stomach 18 years after surgery

 A pair of scissors which was removed from Mr Ma Van Nhat's abdomen after being left behind during a surgery 18 years ago, at a clinic in Thai Nguyen, on Dec 31, 2016.
A pair of scissors which was removed from Mr Ma Van Nhat's abdomen after being left behind during a surgery 18 years ago, at a clinic in Thai Nguyen, on Dec 31, 2016. PHOTO: AFP/VIETNAM NEWS AGENCY
Mr Ma Van Nhat displaying his abdominal X-ray, which shows a pair of broken 15cm scissors, in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam.
Mr Ma Van Nhat displaying his abdominal X-ray, which shows a pair of broken 15cm scissors, in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam. PHOTO: EPA

HANOI (AFP) - A Vietnamese man has had scissors removed from his abdomen which were left behind during surgery 18 years ago, after reporting a stomachache that was nearly two decades in the making.

Ma Van Nhat, now 54, underwent surgery in 1998 after a car accident and only recently discovered that doctors had left an unwelcome gift behind when they closed him up.

Doctors discovered the 15cm scissors near his colon after a recent ultrasound.

He had a three-hour operation at the weekend to remove the scissors, according to Ngo Trung Thang, deputy head of general affairs at Gang Thep Thai Nguyen hospital, 80km north of Hanoi.

"He is recovering well," Thang told AFP on Tuesday (Jan 3).

Nhat had spent nearly two decades "eating, drinking and having a pretty normal life", according to Suc Khoe va Doi Song news site, the official mouthpiece of Vietnam's health ministry.

The ultrasound that discovered the scissors only came about after Nhat reported stomach pains.

Officials said they were searching for the doctors who performed surgery in Bac Kan province in 1998, but have not yet tracked down any culprits.