"PUNE: A team of doctors from Sassoon general hospital removed 17 sketch pens, two pocket-combs, a metal rod, a nail, a needle and a ballpen refill from the stomach
of a 22-year-old psychotic woman
on Friday. For the past 15 years, the woman has been suffering from an unusual mental fixation that she would find a groom if she consumed odd objects.
"The woman was brought to us by her mother on April 30 with complaints of abdominal pain. We took an X-ray of her abdomen which showed a 10-12 cm metal rod
of 1 cm diameter in the upper abdomen and a nail in the right lower abdomen," said senior surgeon S S Thakur, head of the department of surgery at Sassoon hospital.
Initially, the doctors tried to remove the foreign objects through conservative treatment without going in for a surgery as there were no signs of severe abdominal complications like bowel perforation or obstruction in bowel movement.
"Since the rod was large, we could not bring it out with the help of endoscope (a diagnostic medical device which is also used for retrieving foreign objects from the gastrointestinal tract). Hence, we decided to go for a planned operation," said Kirankumar Jadhav, assistant professor in surgery at the hospital, who did the surgery.
The doctors had many surprises in store when they took a vertical 10 to 12 cm incision on the patient's abdomen to remove the rod.
"When we explored the abdomen, we found an array of odd objects other than the rod," Jadhav said. "There were 17 sketch pens, each measuring 12 cm in length, two pocket-combs 12 cm long, the metal rod, the 8-cm nail, an 8-cm needle and a 10-cm ball pen refill. We also found a pointed thin 8-cm needle, partly sticking out, in the colon. The presence of the needle in the colon is surprising because the object travelled the entire small bowel (small intestines) and reached the colon without causing any perforation. The needle appeared to have been in the gastrointestinal tract for a long time."
Jadhav said the pens, combs and other plastic objects are radiolucent and cannot be picked up by the X-ray scan.
Among those who assisted Jadhav in carrying out the surgery were surgeon (assistant professor) Mayuri Kamble and resident doctors Abhijit Patil, Arvind Ekhande, Amey Bindu, Charandeep Singh, Rugved Kulkarni, Anuj Bhide, Aniruddha Mohite and Nayan Jain.
Since the patient is on anti-psychotic drugs, which are known to damage the liver, administering anaesthesia was a challenge.
Senior anesthetist Kalpana Kelkar said, and her team comprising anesthetists Surekha Shinde, Yogesh Gavali, Sameer Bhosale and Naveen Jain.
"We decided to give the woman general anaesthesia in a calculated manner to avoid post-operative complications. We modified the doses and used only those drugs that can be easily metabolised by the body."
The woman's parents said that while they had never seen their daughter swallow any of these objects, she had often told them that she would find a match if she consumed objects like combs and nails. Her father said, "She would often wake up in the middle of the night to prepare tea. She may have swallowed these objects at these times."
The patient resides in Ghorpadi
gaon. Her father is a painter and mother does menial work at neighbouring households.
The girl's mother said, "Sometimes she becomes irritable and throws utensils, but otherwise she behaves very nicely. She likes to dress well and shows regrets for the hardships and trouble her parents have to face because of her."
Two years ago, the woman was treated at the Yerawada mental hospital
for a few months.
Senior psychiatrist Alka Pawar said, "The patient could have magical thinking (a clinical term used to describe a wide variety of non-scientific and sometimes irrational beliefs) or obsessive-compulsive behaviour (an anxiety disorder). She may also be suffering from pica, an eating disorder which is characterised by a persistent and compulsive craving to eat non-food items."
"Pens, Rod, Nail Removed from Woman's Stomach." The Times of India
. Web. 05 May 2012. <http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Pens-rod-nail-removed-from-womans-stomach/articleshow/13003113.cms>.