Doctors in northeast China had to remove a cigarette lighter from a man’s stomach after he swallowed it during a drinking session.
The 25-year-old, from Shenyang in Liaoning province, went to see a doctor last Friday after he started suffering from unbearable stomach pains three days after he swallowed the lighter, the Liaoshen Evening News reported.
He said he had felt fine at first, and had drunk more beer over the next couple of days, but then started vomiting on the third day.
The man also told medical staff that he initially assumed the lighter would pass through his body naturally and had not felt the need to seek medical attention until he started feeling unwell.
Liu Xi, an endoscopy specialist from Shenyang No 5 People’s Hospital, said doctors had noticed the smell of lighter fluid on the man’s breath and, using a gastroscope, discovered that one end of the lighter was broken.
They also said that the object was surrounded by gastric fluid and parts of the patient’s stomach lining had been damaged.
“We first used a pincer and tried several times, but failed to get the lighter out,” Liu told the newspaper. “Then I opened a net installed at the front end of the gastroscope to hold the lighter tightly before taking it out. In this process, I had to adjust the angle slowly given that the gullet is thin and it’s easy for it to be scratched.”
Liu explained that gastric juices in the stomach may have caused the lighter fluid to leak, which could damage the digestive tract and cause gastric ulcers, erosions and perforations.
The report went on to say that this was the fourth time in recent years that the hospital had treated a patient who swallowed a lighter and medical staff have also seen patients who swallowed a fruit knife, a toothbrush and false teeth.
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