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Man swallows 19-cm long toothbrush, doctors pull it out from his stomach

 Man swallows 19-cm long toothbrush, doctors pull it out from his stomach

 

Sagaya Fernando

Mumbai: 22 September 2020 


 

The habit of using a toothbrush to clean the throat proved too dangerous for a man in India when he inadvertently swallowed the whole brush. Luckily for him, doctors removed the 19 centimetres (7.5 inches) long brush – which had entered his stomach – within 24 hours and saved his life.

 

The 49-year-old man (name withheld to protect identity) from the small town of Roing in the North-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, India, was as his routine after brushing the teeth was cleaning his throat with the toothbrush on September 15 morning when it accidentally slipped past his food pipe.

 

The frightened man rushed to a nearby private clinic where he was asked to go to a hospital at Pasighat, located around 108 kilometres away (two and a half hours drive away) from Roing. The doctors there referred him to the state run Bakin Pertin General Hospital (BPGH).

 

At BPGH, Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialist Dr Bolut Taki carried out esophagoscopy, x-ray and blood test, but could not locate the toothbrush.

 

“The patient was taken to a private hospital in Pasighat at around 1 pm on September 15 from there he was referred to our hospital. The ENT surgeon of our hospital investigated the patient and planned to conduct an esophagoscopy, while I checked the patient at around 6 pm. The esophagoscopy procedure was conducted on September 16 morning, but the toothbrush couldn’t be found in the oesophagus – the muscular tube connecting the pharynx (throat) with the stomach. This meant that the toothbrush had entered into the stomach,” said senior surgeon Dr Bomni Tayeng at BPGH.

 

Dr Tayeng said that the patient was not feeling any pain after ingesting the toothbrush and was experiencing only minor discomfort in his upper abdomen.

 

“As the toothbrush couldn’t be detected in the x-ray, I then decided to conduct an exploratory laparotomy process under general anaesthesia in the same sitting. The brush could be easily felt in the stomach and was removed through a small incision in the stomach. This procedure took only about 30 minutes,” informed Dr Tayeng.

 

He further added, “The very next day (September 17) he started taking oral fluids, and had an uneventful recovery. He was discharged on September 21.” 




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