Surgery is a really scary necessity for many people, and it’s hard to blame them for freaking out, since their lives are quite literally in the hands of their doctors.

As is the case with all other people, doctors are bound to make a few mistakes. Unfortunately, some lead to much worse consequences than others, like leaving surgical equipment inside a patient’s body and forgetting to remove it. You’d think these kinds of incidents would be extremely rare, but almost 800 people have had surgical instruments left in their bodies between 2005 and 2012, leading to 16 deaths.

A Vietnamese man named Ma Van Nhat recently discovered that he was a victim of this medical mistake, but it took 18 years for him to become aware of it.

After the now 54-year-old got into a car accident in 1998, he was taken to a hospital in the Bac Kan province of Vietnam for surgery.

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In the years since, he has lived his life normally without any major health issues — that is, until he recently started having severe stomach pains. When physicians administered an ultrasound, they saw a pair of surgical scissors in his abdomen.

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