By Luka Vukovic
Recently, surgeons have removed hundreds of pieces of metal, of all different shapes and sizes, from a man in France.
This man, at the age of 52, has psychosis, similar to delirium, which means he has lost grasp of reality. Although he has received treatment for his condition in the past, he still has a tendency to swallow pieces of metal. The objects that were surgically removed from this man’s body consisted of Coins, Bolts, Knives, Screws and Spoons.
In the past five years, this man has gone to doctors complaining about stomach pains, nausea and coughing up blood. Each of these times they had surgically removed a metal bezoar (A solid mass of indigestible material which accumulates in the stomach) from his body.
The other option would have been to take the metal out through endoscopy, which is inserting a tube down to the stomach through the patient’s mouth.
At the man’s most recent hospital visit, the scan of his stomach revealed that the bezoar had ruptured and made a hole in the stomach, bursting it.
This meant that surgery was the only option. This seems obvious to many but on the contrary, the stomach has very thick and resilient lining on it’s walls and heals very fast, so it came as a slight surprise to the surgeons.
There has been a history of people eating strange objects such as wood or toys. Generally, it has been seen with people with serious medical conditions such as psychosis or prisoners in search of medical attention. In this case, the man in question mentioned that he heard voices telling him to swallow these strange objects, this is also a common symptom of psychosis in older patients.