This X-ray shows a 6-inch steel spoon resting inside the stomach of a young woman who drunkenly swallowed it the night before and forgot about it.
The unnamed patient from the city of Qingdao, which is in East China’s Shandong Province, went for an examination at the People’s Hospital of Jimo District after complaining of stomach pains, where scans showed the 15-centimetre (6-inch) utensil in her body.
Fan Guangxue, head gastroenterologist at the facility, said the patient was admitted earlier this month with stomach pains.
Fan ordered an X-ray and was shocked to see the metallic object light up brightly on the screen.
It was only then that the patient recalled that she was heavily intoxicated the night before, and passed out with the spoon in her mouth.
She likely swallowed it without realising and forgot all about the spoon until it showed up in her X-rays the next day.
Doctor Fan decided to remove the spoon via a gastroscopy instead of subjecting the woman – reportedly in her 20s – to surgery.
He said: “But removing a spoon through a gastroscopy is very tricky.
“Firstly, the spoon was over 10 centimetres (4 inches) long. It was also very smooth and slippery, and therefore difficult to control or grab hold of.”
The doctor said he used a medical device known as a snare loop to grasp the spoon.
He added: “Even after snaring the spoon it was difficult to pull it out. It would get stuck along the way out.”
Fortunately, the experienced medic managed to remove the spoon by pulling it back out the patient’s mouth.
Fan added: “There was no way such a long spoon could’ve been expelled in the normal way.
“After a period of time, it would’ve caused ulcers and even perforated her stomach, which would lead to life-threatening infections.
“Last year a drunk patient swallowed a toothpick. That was also very dangerous.
“Smaller things like buttons or coins could possibly be excreted normally, but a steel spoon or a toothpick need to be removed via a gastroscopy.
“Do not put small things in your mouth when you’re drunk.”
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