In one of its kind rare surgery, doctors at AIIMS, Delhi successfully removed a 20-cm-long kitchen knife from a man’s liver. The 28-year-old man, a daily wage worker from Palwal in Haryana, had bizarrely swallowed it in a fit of psychosis.
The doctors said they were perplexed as to how the man gulped down the saw-edged knife without any damage being caused to his wind-pipe, lungs, heart and other vital organs.
“The knife could have easily perforated the esophagus and gone in to the trachea, heart or big vessels, on its journey from mouth to liver via duodenum,” Dr Nihar Ranjan Dash, professor of Gastrointestinal Surgery and Liver Transplant, AIIMS, was quoted saying by a PTI report.
He said, “We have searched the literature, but such a big sharp knife ingestion has not been reported. We are searching for more literature.”
The man has a history of psychosis and had a habit of smoking cannabis.
“He was not an addict but took cannabis quite often,” said the doctor.
The man told the doctors that one-and-a-half-months ago, during the coronavirus lockdown when “he was in his kitchen, he felt like eating the knife. He tried to chew it and finally gulped it down with water”.
He had no problems for a month.
But subsequently, he developed issues like difficulty in eating, weight loss, fever, abdominal pain which soon became unbearable, the doctors said.
He was taken to local hospitals and was referred to the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi.
“An ultrasound and an X-ray of the abdomen revealed blade of a kitchen knife stuck in the liver. Anticipating the challenges involved in removing the object, doctors there referred the patient to the Gastrointestinal Surgery and Liver Transplant department at AIIMS,” Dr
In a challenging surgery lasting three hours, the knife was removed by opening the intestine, he said.
“The patient was in the ICU for seven days. He is out of danger now and out of ICU care,” Dr Dash said.
The patient came to the emergency of the AIIMS on July 12.