40 objects removed from a man’s abdomen

Keys, coins, minute metallic objects, and a piece of a magnet that kept most of these objects together were removed from the stomach of a 52-year-old man at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH). In all, 40 objects, mostly metallic, were removed in an endoscopic procedure by doctors of the Institute of Medical Gastroenterology.

“The number of metal objects that he had swallowed was more than what we had collected from many patients over five years,” said A. R. Venkateshwaran, director, Institute of Medical Gastroenterology. The objects included keys, coins, small metallic pieces, blades, a SIM card, and a magnet. The smallest object measured two centimetres. The patient was undergoing treatment for a psychiatric disorder at the Institute of Mental Health for nearly three years. His family was unaware that he was in the habit of swallowing objects, and it was only during an MRI of the brain that the suspicion arose, doctors said.

“Doctors had recommended an MRI of the brain. This being a magnetic resonance procedure involving magnetic field, a technical issue occurred during the procedure. Subsequently, the patient developed abdominal pain.A CT scan of the abdomen showed multiple metal objects. He was referred to RGGGH,” R. Jayanthi, dean of RGGGH, told reporters on Friday.

Over two days

She added that usually, an open surgery has to be performed to remove these objects but doctors of RGGGH decided to use multiple endoscopic accessories to remove the objects safely. Performing a gastroscopy, a team headed by Dr. Venkateshwaran removed all the objects in two hour-long sessions performed over two days. “We have endoscopic accessories such as rat-toothed forceps, overtube and snare to hold coins and keys. In the first attempt on the first day, we managed to remove 10 objects without administering anaesthesia. Some of the objects were attached to the magnet. ,” he explained.

Doctors said that if the objects were not removed on time, the patient could have developed complications such as perforation of intestines, gastrointestinal bleeding and sepsis.

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