A Chinese man has finally got to the bottom of his enduring, decades-old stomachache -- a surgical clamp left inside his belly 37 years ago, Shanghai Daily reported Thursday.

Medics had failed to remove the 4-inch device after a 1974 operation to treat a stomach ulcer.

The patient, named only as Liu in local reports, had been on pain medication for nearly four decades.

But when he went back to the hospital in central China's Hubei Province on July 17 baffled doctors took an x-ray and immediately spotted the culprit.

The surgical instrument had thankfully caused very little damage and has since been successfully removed, much to Liu's relief, Shanghai Daily said.

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