Doctors in Calcutta Medical College and Hospital here successfully removed more than 600 iron nails from the stomach of a 40-year-old patient, who had swallowed the nails over a period of time.
A team of doctors on Monday conducted the “rarest” operation on the patient, who is apparently suffering from schizophrenia. The patient had stopped taking food since the first week of October. Sources in the hospital said the man had developed abdominal pain, following which his family members brought him to the hospital. “He was suffering from acute abdominal pain. An ultrasonography test was conducted in which 639 iron nails were found in his stomach. Due to the presence of so many nails, his stomach had become abnormally big. The patient had swallowed the nails with soil, and the nails did not pierce his stomach,” said a doctor.
Hospital sources said the patient is not mentally fit, and hence he would often swallow the nails. The operation was risky, and a medical team was formed under the leadership of surgeon Siddhartha Biswas. His stomach was first cut, and the nails were extracted using magnet. All the nails were removed safely, they added.
Sources said the patient is likely to be suffering from a disorder that make people crave for non-edible items. The man hails from North 24 Parganas, and his family told doctors that he would regularly eat soil, but they had no clue that he had swallowed so many iron nails.
“He is in the general ward, and is recovering. Tomorrow (Wednesday), we will do his full check-up. He is not being given food orally. The nails were 2 to 2-and-a-half inch long and sharp. When such things enter a human body, there is a chance of developing sepsis. But, if he is fine for the next seven days, there is no chance of sepsis after that. His condition is closely being monitored,” Dr Siddhartha Biswas, Assistant Professor, department of surgery told The Indian Express.
In July, doctors at the SSKM hospital in the city had extracted seven needles from the stomach of a three-and-a-half-year old girl, who had unfortunately died after the surgery, as she developed sepsis.