Thursday, August 30, 2007

Diner swallows spoon-see the X-Ray

December 31, 2006 12:00am
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SOME people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth - but this patient literally got one lodged in her gullet.

The 26-year-old Sydney woman accidentally swallowed a teaspoon during a laughing fit while eating spaghetti.

She is understood to have gagged reflexively, but by then it was too late.

Doctors were astonished by what they saw when she arrived at Canterbury Hospital.

An X-ray and camera gastroscope revealed the 15cm implement stuck in her throat at the top of her stomach.

Numerous doctors examined the images and offered advice on how to remove the spoon – with most recommending surgery.

But Dr Bernard Beldholm, an advanced trainee in general surgery, and Dr Alice Lee, a gastroenterologist, wanted to spare her the trauma of an invasive operation.

They eventually managed to remove it manually – albeit "with great difficulty".

The woman, who can't be named because of patient confidentiality, was placed under general anaesthetic.

In a delicate procedure which took 90 minutes, they eased it out of her throat and mouth.

Dr Beldholm and Dr Lee tried several different tactics before successfully using snares to lasso either end of the spoon and pull it upright so it lined up with her esophagus.

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