An X-ray clearly shows the spoon lodged in Mr Zhang’s throat. (Xinjiang Coal Mine General Hospital)
Chinese doctors have removed a 20-centimetre-long spoon which was stuck in a man’s throat for a year.
- The patient swallowed the spoon as a bet
- He only suffered pain after being punched in the chest a year later
- Three doctors took two hours to remove the spoon via his mouth
The man, aged in his early 20s and identified only as Mr Zhang, swallowed the spoon in 2017.
He did this on impulse while “betting” with friends, a statement from the Xinjiang Coal Mine General Hospital said.
The steel spoon became lodged in his oesophagus but, as he suffered no pain or discomfort, Mr Zhang did not seek medical attention to remove the utensil.
The 20cm long spoon was removed from Mr Zhang’s throat via his mouth. (Xinjiang Coal Mine General Hospital)
It wasn’t until he was recently punched in the chest that the spoon became a problem for Mr Zhang.
He presented to hospital with breathing difficulties and chest pain, with x-rays of his torso shocking doctors.
“I was very surprised,” the hospital’s ear nose and throat specialist Yu Xiwu said.
“I have never encountered a similar patient.”
A delicate procedure
Dr Xiwu ruled the spoon a threat to Mr Zhang’s life and doctors removed it under general anaesthetic.
It took two hours to retrieve the spoon via Mr Zhang’s mouth, with the procedure carrying a risk of perforating his oesophagus.
Doctors said the spoon was covered in mucus and could have caused a serious infection.
However, Mr Zhang recovered well from the procedure and was discharged two days later.
The hospital published a public safety warning from Dr Xiwu following the procedure, urging people to avoid swallowing foreign objects such as cutlery.
“Don’t be impulsive and do things that hurt you,” the statement read.
“Because foreign bodies enter the oesophagus or stomach, they can be life-threatening at any time.”