Surgeons Remove 19 Toothbrushes From Man's Stomach


A Bangladeshi man had to get surgery to remove 19 toothbrushes from his stomach.

The surgery, which was recorded and uploaded to LiveLeak, shows doctors removing the toothbrushes one by one. And it wasn't just toothbrushes that were in the Shamimur Rahman Akondo's stomach. Four broken pieces of miswak twig, a broken part of a spoon, two plastic wrappers, two broken shells of batteries and a piece of cloth were also found, according to the Daily Star/Asian News Network.

“It was a rare experience in my 16-year-long surgery career,” said Shafiqul Islam, the head surgeon who operated on Akondo.

So why did Akondo swallow 19 toothbrushes and several pieces of trash? According to his brother, Akondo has psychological problems and is addicted to drugs. And doctors believe he must have been swallowing random objects while in a rehabilitation center.

According to Dr. Donald Malone, director of the Center for Behavioral Health at Cleveland Clinic, the reasons for ingesting strange objects can be blamed upon developmental delays, mental retardation or autistic spectrum disorders, reported ABC News. Impulsive and irrational thought processes can also cause the behavior.

But sometimes, people make somewhat rational decisions to swallow strange objects.

In 2009, surgeons in Peru removed 1.5 pounds of metal in the form of nails, coins, copper wire and scrap metal from a man's stomach, reported The Associated Press.

The man, Requelme Abanto, explained he swallowed it on purpose and might consider eating metal as “a sport.”

"I swallowed 17 nails in February and didn't die," he said. "Five-inch nails, all in one day ... They call me the hardware store," Abanto said.

While swallowing toothbrushes and nails sounds bizarre, it's also expensive.

According to a study from Rhode Island Hospital that looked at 33 adult patients who swallowed items like pens, batteries, knives and razor blades, the total cost to remove them came to $2 million, most of which came from Medicaid and Medicare, reported ABC News.

Sources: Daily Star/Asian News Network via Inquirer.net, ABC News, AP via Today / Photo credit: LiveLeak

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