Thai woman suffers for 6 years after surgeon leaves drill bit inside her leg

A Thai woman is rallying for justice after a doctor at Saraburi Hospital in central Thailand left a broken drill bit inside her leg during surgery more than six years ago, taking away her ability to walk and causing her years of unbearable pain.

Yesterday, the Social Justice Campaign Network took 57 year old Chantra Wutthiyanan, in a wheelchair, to present a letter to the Ministry of Public Health demanding justice for gross negligence.

The victim, Chantra, said she had a car accident in 2016 and was treated at Saraburi Hospital. Doctors performed surgery to put seven metal splints in Chantra’s leg.

In 2017, Chantra underwent surgery at Saraburi Hospital to have the metal splints removed from her leg. After the surgery, the hospital did not arrange any follow-up appointments to assess her recovery, said Chantra.

Chantra said the pain progressively increased until she couldn’t walk and she felt pressure in her leg like never before. She said she developed spots on her legs and hands that became infected.

She said she took medicine to ease the symptoms until she couldn’t cope anymore. Chantra returned to Saraburi Hospital to find the doctor who performed the surgery but said she couldn’t find him, because she wasn’t sure which doctor it was.

Other doctors at the hospital gave Chantra medicine to treat her symptoms and sent her away. But things only got worse.

Fast forward to 2022 and Chantra was suffering like never before. She went to Adisorn Camp Hospital in Sara Buri province, where doctors x-rayed her leg.

Doctors couldn’t believe it when the x-ray results revealed a broken surgical drill bit stuck inside Chantra’s leg, preventing her ability to walk. They sent her to Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok to have the drill bit surgically removed.

More than six years after the initial surgery, Chantra travelled to the Ministry of Health to request justice.

In November 2022, a Thai man requested help from the Lawyers Council of Thailand after his leg was amputated without his permission.

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.