Doctors pull out 639 nails from man's stomach

Doctors pull out 639 nails from man's stomach
In a rare case, doctors at the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) have successfully removed 639 nails from the stomach of a 45-year-old man with mental disabilities.

Doctors on Tuesday said the patient was admitted to the hospital about a week ago from the Gobardanga area in North 24 Parganas district -adjacent to Kolkata- with acute stomach pain.

“He had stopped taking food since mid-October,” said a CMCH doctor who was part of the surgical team led by Dr Siddhartha Biswas that operated on the man.

“His relatives said he was suffering from schizophrenia and used to swallow mud and dirt.

“We conducted an Endoscopy that revealed the presence of metallic objects n his stomach.”

It was only after the doctors began the operation on Monday did they find his stomach was brimming with nails of different sizes.

After more than an hour-and-a-half, the surgical team extracted 639 nails of 2 to 2.5 inch sizes from the man’s stomach using magnets. The bunch of nails weighed more than a kilogram.

CMCH superintendent TK Lahiri said the case is a rare one. “We cannot recall any instances of such a large number of nails in the stomach of a person,” he said.

The man’s relatives claimed he had schizophrenia, but the doctors suspected that he could be having Pica disorder characterised by a patient’s appetite for non-food items.

Relatives told the doctors that the man had a habit of eating soil, cigarette butts and other things, but they never saw him wolfing down nails.

“The operation is successful and the patient is recuperating. However, we have kept him under close observation as his surgical wounds may take longer to heal due to lack of nutrition,” the CMCH doctor added.
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