Schizophrenic man, 52, has curved foot-long stick removed from his esophagus after ‘voices told’ him to swallow the object
Doctors raced to remove a foot-long stick from a man’s esophagus after he was told to swallow it by ‘voices in his head’.
The man, 52, who was not named, came to a hospital in Guatemala about a day after ingesting the stick, complaining of intense stomach pain.
A case report states that the man was diagnosed with schizophrenia — which can cause hallucinations and behavior problems — following the incident.
Doctors found the top of the stick poking out of his esophagus — or gullet — with splinters digging into the tube’s sides. The end of the stick was also making indentations in his lower abdomen.
After an attempt to pull the stick back up through his throat failed, they removed it surgically via a hole cut in the patient’s stomach.
A 52-year-old man in Guatemala came to the hospital after getting a foot-long stick lodged in his gullet, or esophagus (Pictured: Scans showing the stick
Doctors eventually removed the stick (left) via surgery. They said it had also left splinters in his windpipe. The stick was palpable from outside the patient (right, end of stick shown poking into patient’s side)
In the case report revealing the incident, the man said he had swallowed the stick after voices in his head told him to do so.
He was later diagnosed with schizophrenia, a mental disorder that can lead to mood, behavior and hallucinations disturbances.
It was not clear where the man had found the stick or what it may have previously been used for.
Doctors at Hospital Roosevelt in Guatemala City, the nation’s capital, initially carried out scans to estimate the size of the stick — finding that it was a foot long and about 0.8 inches wide.
They also checked for damage to other organs but did not detect any to the windpipe or piercing of other organs — like the liver.
He was still able to breathe because the stick had descended below the opening in the esophagus that connects to the windpipe and lungs.
Doctors initially attempted to remove the stick with a loop clamp.
This device consists of a long, slender shaft with a wire loop at the end used to clasp onto items before pulling them out.
In this patient’s case, however, the strategy failed — prompting them to instead opt for surgery.
After sedating the patient, they made a small incision in his stomach — in a procedure medically termed a gastrotomy.
The stick was then slowly pulled out of his throat through his stomach.
The patient suffered no long-term damage from the incident but was sent for a mental health evaluation.
Writing in the case report from December, they said: ‘The esophageal foreign body in the present case is the largest currently reported.’
Previous incidents have included people swallowing everything from plastic bottles to spanners.
The Guinness World Record for the longest object swallowed is held by American Natasha Veruschka, who swallowed a nearly two-foot sword in 2009.
Doctors said this may be one of a patient’s largest sticks ever swallowed. The individual was later diagnosed with schizophrenia
It comes after a man in India needed to undergo lifesaving surgery after swallowing a plastic bottle.
The 55-year-old from Madhya Pradesh, in the center of the country, came to the hospital complaining of severe stomach pain.
After doctors spotted the bottle, they quickly performed surgery to remove it from his body.
It was unclear why the individual had swallowed the bottle, but this has been linked to mental health disorders in several cases.
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