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Doctors remove half-eaten octopus from throat of Singapore man

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Doctors at Singapore Tan Tock Seng Hospital were baffled to find a half-eaten octopus stuck inside a man’s oesophagus after the man had come to the hospital complaining of having difficulty in swallowing from the time he had a meal which included the octopus.

The octopus which was lodged in the man’s food pipe started to cause a decline in the man’s health, causing him to vomit. The man even began dehydrating and felt as if his throat was on the verge of bursting.  

The doctors conducted a CT scan which showed a dense mass in the man’s food pipe. The octopus was later found two inches from the oesophagus-stomach border during a subsequent esophagogastroduodenoscopy — a gastrointestinal examination involving a small, flexible tube.

After several unsuccessful attempts of removing the octopus, the doctors manoeuvred the endoscope past the animal and retroflexed it, allowing them to remove the stuck creature. The doctors then used forceps to grab its head and removed it from the patient. The patient was kept in observation for two days after surgery and then discharged.

According to the hospital’s doctors, food obstructions are among the most common problems encountered at the facility. Endoscopic intervention is necessary in 10% to 20% of cases, while 1% of them require surgery, they added. “The ‘push technique’ is the primary method recommended with high success rates, however applying excessive force can cause oesophageal perforation,” said the medical team.

In 2016, a similar case came to light when an octopus was found inside the throat of a two-year-old boy in United States’ Kansas.

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