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Last Updated: Friday, 30 April, 2004, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Man's stomach 'fell out' after op
Mr Sternat had undergone a stomach operation
A man recovering from a stomach operation had to be rushed back into hospital after his innards "fell out" when his wound burst.

George Sternat, of Cairns, Australia, had just had surgical staples removed from his abdomen.

Cancer patient Mr Sternat was relaxing in his garden when he screamed out in pain, the AFP news agency reported.

His partner Cheryl Orme said he shouted: "Get the ambulance, my stomach fell out."

Every time I try to sleep I see George holding his stomach in his hands
Cheryl Orme
Mr Sternats had undergone the operation earlier this month to remove cancerous tumours from his abdomen.

The wound was closed with medical staples.

Doctors removed the staples on Wednesday morning and Mr Sternats returned home.

Stable condition

When his wound burst open, Mr Sternats wrapped a towel around himself to hold his stomach in while his partner called an ambulance.

She said: "They wanted to know if he had pains in his chest and I screamed at them 'His stomach fell out, he just got staples out from a cancer operation'.

"What more can you say when your man's stomach's hanging out? Isn't that enough for them to come straight away?"

Following his re-admittance to hospital, Mr Sternats was reported to be in stable condition but Ms Orme said she planned to sue health authorities for negligence in removing the staples too soon.

She added: "It's the most horrific thing I've ever seen, especially with someone you love.

"Every time I try to sleep I see George holding his stomach in his hands."

A spokeswoman for the Royal College of Surgeons of England told BBC News Online: "Operations should be carried out so that does not happen."

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