Doctors In China Remove Chicken Bone From Woman’s Lungs After 14 Years
Doctors in China have managed to remove a chicken bone from a woman’s lung – 14 years after she unknowingly swallowed it.
The 22-year-old, who has not been named, had suffered with a persistent cough following an initial, serious coughing fit when she was seven or eight years old.
She had hospital scans to try to determine the cause of the coughing fit, but medics at the time saw no anomalies.
The young woman continued to be affected by coughs and breathing problems and she was repeatedly misdiagnosed with bronchiectasis, a condition characterised by mucus-rich coughs due to damaged airways.
Bronchiectasis is usually treated with medication such as antibiotics, but her symptoms would not subside despite years of searching for a successful treatment.
The university student recently decided to seek surgery for hyperhidrosis – or excessive sweating – but before doing so she wanted to first resolve her breathing difficulties.
She was recently admitted to the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, which is in Guangdong Province in South China, where Deputy Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery Wang Jiyong ordered new CT scans.
The scans revealed there was a foreign body lying at the base of her right lung, so surgeon Yang Ming performed a bronchoscopy in an attempt to identify it. A bronchoscopy involves inserting a bronchoscope tube with a light and small camera through the nose or mouth and down the throat to the bronchi and bronchioles of the lungs.
Ming spoke about the surgery on April 12, explaining the patient underwent a 30-minute procedure in which the surgeon managed to remove a small bone fragment that Ming believes belonged to a chicken or duck.
Scans from the hospital show the bone clearly visible in the woman’s lung, and images taken after the procedure show medics holding the bone, which appears to be a couple of centimetres in length.
Given its size, it seems baffling the young woman could have swallowed the bone without realising what had happened, but Dr. Jiyong speculated she managed to inhale the bone during a meal 14 years ago.
It is thought to have become lodged in her lung, causing a persistent cough, but the bone somehow managed to go unnoticed until now.
An image of the young woman giving a thumbs-up from her hospital bed suggests she is doing well following the procedure – hopefully the surgery will have put a stop to her breathing difficulties once and for all.
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