A 90-year-old woman who went in to get her leg amputated last month at a hospital in Sankt Johann, Tyrol, had the wrong limb removed, Austrian media reported Friday.
The patient, who suffered from vascular disease, was meant to have her leg amputated below the hip and went in for the operation on June 16.
After doctors realised they had removed her healthy leg, the elderly woman finally had the correct limb amputated in a second operation a few days later, reports said.
The prosecution in Innsbruck has now launched an investigation for "injury by negligence," while the surgeon who handled the procedure has been suspended after 25 years on the job, the Austria Press Agency reported.
In a statement, the hospital said human error as well as a breakdown in safety measures were to blame for the mistake, adding that it would "do everything to guarantee this incident is clarified without fault."
The patient's life was not in danger and she was due to leave hospital in the next few days, the reports said.
Her relatives had asked the hospital not to make the incident public, the management told the Kleine Zeitung newspaper, which first reported on it.
Explore further: New research demonstrates benefits of national and international device registries