A hospital trust issued an unreserved apology today after a 7in (18cm) set of forceps was left inside a patient following a routine operation.
The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which is facing legal action after Donna Bowett was left in agony, said it had since taken a number of steps to improve safety standards.
Ms Bowett told The Sun she was left in "horrendous" pain by the mistake after undergoing surgery to remove her gall bladder at Redditch's Alexandra Hospital last year.
The 39-year-old nurse, who works in Worcester, told the newspaper she underwent an MRI scan before the forceps were finally revealed by an X-ray.
"I still can't believe it's happened in this day and age," the mother of four said. "It might have damaged my internal organs."
In a statement, the chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, John Rostill, said: "We would like to apologise unreservedly to Ms Bowett for any pain or distress she has suffered.
"We strive to provide the safest, highest quality care possible for all our patients, and in the 12 months since this extremely unusual incident we have taken a number of steps to further improve standards of safety.
"The matter is currently the subject of a claim brought by her solicitors and it would be inappropriate for us to comment further in those circumstances"