Ever wondered what a splinter in your stomach might look like? Turns out it might include a sharp object piercing through the digestive tract and traveling to the liver.
That’s essentially what happened in a 2012 BMJ case report involving a 45-year-old woman who went to the emergency room.
The woman suffered from abdominal pain, loss of appetite, low blood pressure and physical weakness that had progressively worsened for several months. These symptoms were even more punctuated by the woman’s previous history of obesity, diabetes and reflux.
Although the woman was initially treated for an infection and then released in stable condition, imaging revealed a long, thin object in her liver. Later, surgeons pulled out a toothpick from the organ in its original size and shape.
Weird? It’s a rare scenario, but other cases of sharp objects perforating through the stomach have occurred, states the BMJ case report.
Objects like sewing needles, fish and chicken bones or dental plates have caused this problem.
But much to many toothpickers’ relief, only 17 cases of toothpick-to-liver perforations have ever been reported.