Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Dec 30 : A 33-year-old labourer had a 'brush with death' when he accidentally swallowed a toothbrush, making doctors to perform an emergency life-saving operation on him, medicos said here on Wednesday.
Rajesh Jadhav was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) around 11 am on December 26 with complaints of excruciating stomach ache.
On learning that he had swallowed a toothbrush, a CT scan was done on him to determine the location and position of the foreign body in his body, said Dr Junaid M Shaikh, who led the team that performed the surgery on him.
"If allowed to remain inside the body, the toothbrush could have perforated his stomach and intestines, creating more complications and possibly life-threatening situation; so, we decided to operate on him immediately," Dr Shaikh told IANS.
After consulting GMCH Dean Dr Kannan Yelikar, Medical Superintendent Dr Suresh Harbade, General Surgery head Dr Sarojini Jadhav, Dr Shaikh put together a team for the unusual operation.
"We did a mini-laparatomy on the patient's abdominal cavity and after nearly 90 minutes, extracted the toothbrush.
We also cleaned up the interiors to prevent any infections," Dr Shaikh said.
The team also included Dr Avinash Ghatge, Dr Omar Khan, Dr Sandeep Chavan, Dr Sukanya Vinchurkar, Dr Gaurav Bhavsar, Dr Aniket Rakhude, Dr Vishakha Walke, and Head Nurse Santoshi Songatti.
The patient's was later wheeled in to the ward, where his wife and brother said that they did not know how Jadhav had managed to swallow the toothbrush that can be anywhere between 6 and 9 inches.
"The patient is stable now.
He will be discharged after 5-6 days when we remove the sutures, plus depending on how well he convalesces," Dr Junaid said.
It was the second unusual but critical surgery performed at the GMCH.
Some 15 years ago, a patient was operated upon after he had swallowed a steel spoon.
Occasionally, unsupervised infants or children swallow coins, pins, beads, stones, small toys, and similar objects but it is extremely rare for adults to gulp down foreign objects like toothbrush, medicos said.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: email@example.com)