Doctors in Peru removed knives, nails, screws and other objects from the stomach of a metal-eating man, the Daily Mirror reported.

Luis Zarate, 38, went to doctors with severe stomach pain. Doctors were stunned when an X-ray revealed that the man had swallowed a knife, nails, screws, a watch and even barbed wire.

"He's lucky to be alive," Dr. Anish Sheth, gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at Yale University, told FOXNews.com.

"Perforation is a risk anytime a sharp or angular object is ingested. These sharp objects can pierce through the wall of the intestine at any level. It's basically a surgical emergency."

And that's exactly what it was.

A total of 17 strange objects were found at the level of his stomach and colon, said Julio Acevedo, who performed Zarate's surgery.

"The objects had caused his stomach to expand."

This is a common complication when the junction between the stomach and the small intestine or the junction between the very end of the small intestine and colon become obstructed, Sheth said.

"Once you have an obstruction, anything that is eaten basically gets blocked," he said. This causes the intestines to swell up and that causes nausea and vomiting."

If left untreated -- the results can be deadly.

"He (Zarate) would have suffered several complications," Sheth said. "Intestinal rupture is the most feared complication followed by shock and ultimately death."

During his experience as a gastroenterologist, Sheth has removed batteries as well as toothpicks.

He has this simple advice to anyone who swallows any kind of foreign object.

"Go to the emergency room as soon as possible," he said. "If it's sharp it has to come out and if the object is larger than 6 centimeters (2.36 inches) it should also be removed."

Zarate is recovering at the hospital in Trujillo, a coastal town in northwestern Peru.

Click here for more on this story from the Daily Mirror.

Click here to comment on this story.