A patient in Sweden had a piece of bone accidentally removed from the wrong leg, only for the doctor to then alter patient records to make it appear as if everything went to plan.
The incident was said to have happened at a hospital in the country's capital of Stockholm earlier this year.
The patient, who has not been publicly identified, had been due to have an operation on their foot, but the doctor provided the wrong information on which foot, Sweden's daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported on Tuesday (28 November).
Rather than acknowledge their mistake, the doctor reportedly changed the patient records to ensure they wouldn't be blamed.
But the cover-up was exposed by health chiefs who reported the incident to Sweden's Health and Social Care Inspectorate watchdog.
The patient reportedly faces future injury and pain as a result of the botch.
It's not the first time patients have awoken from surgery to find their doctors have operated on the wrong body part.
Even in developed countries with world-class healthcare, doctors have amputated the wrong limb or removed organs from the wrong patient.
In the UK, the number of recorded "never events" – so-called because they should never happen – at NHS hospitals have reached near record levels this year.
Among the 424 incidents logged in 2016-17 were medical equipment being left inside patients after surgery, people falling out of hospital windows and operations on the wrong body part.
There were some 18 operations on the wrong knee and cases where oral medicine was administered intravenously, The Telegraph reported.
Misplaced vaginal swabs were also a common problem across hospitals in England, with 31 cases recorded, while 42 procedures on the wrong tooth took place.
On four occasions, doctors operated on the wrong patient altogether.
NHS chiefs have suggested the rising number is due in part to greater awareness of never events among staff, leading to increased reporting.