Forgetting gauze or "a surgical drape"inside a patient after surgery is a rare medical error. It can lead to severe complications, high hospital costs and medico-legal implications. As a result, this complication is often not reported, mainly to avoid retaliation and because it can initiate extensive critical press coverage. This technical oversight may be just the tip of an iceberg concerning the reality of surgical errors; therefore, the entire surgical team must focus on prevention, continuing medical education and strict adherence to protocols and counting guidelines to minimize their incidence. We present the case of a 76-year-old patient with an acute abdomen; after an initial evaluation, a gossypiboma was discovered, which was forgotten 24 years after prostatectomy.