Kolkata doctors find 639 nails in mentally ill patient’s stomach | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Kolkata doctors find 639 nails in mentally ill patient’s stomach

The operation lasted about an hour and half and nails weighing more than a kilogramme were removed from his stomach using magnets, doctors said.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2017 20:38 IST
HT Correspondent
The patient was stable after the operation and has been shifted to the general bed of the Calcutta Medical College.
The patient was stable after the operation and has been shifted to the general bed of the Calcutta Medical College.(HT FILE PHOTO/REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

In a rare case, doctors at Calcutta Medical College (CMC) removed 639 nails from the stomach of a 40-year-old patient who has been suffering from mental disabilities.

The patient was admitted to the hospital about a week ago with acute stomach pain. He had stopped taking food since mid-October.

“Endoscopy revealed the presence of metallic objects in the stomach. But it was only after starting the operation that we found his stomach was full of nails of different sizes,” a doctor said, expressing surprise that this has not caused much damage to the stomach.

The operation lasted about an hour and half and nails weighing more than a kilogramme were removed from his stomach using magnets, doctors said.

“It’s a rare case. I cannot recall any instance of such huge number of nails in a person’s stomach,” said T K Lahiri, superintendent of CMC, a state government-run hospital on College Street.

Doctors suspect the patient could be suffering from Pica disorder, a mental illness characterised by the patient’s appetite for non-food items.

Relatives of the patient, who hails from Gobardanga in North 24 Parganas district, said that the person had the habit of eating soil, cigarette ends and other things, but they never saw him swallowing nails. He was also undergoing psychiatric treatment.

The patient was stable after the operation and has been shifted to the general bed, Lahiri said.

He would be kept under observation for a couple of days. “Due to lack of nutrition, the surgical wound may take longer to heal,” a doctor said.

In May this year, doctors had found 75 stationery pins embedded deep under the skin of the neck, forearms and legs of Badrilal Meena of Rajasthan, a 56-year-old railway employee.