Doctors In China Remove Chicken Bone From Woman’s Lungs After 14 Years

by : Emily Brown on : 15 Apr 2020 09:16
Doctors In China Remove Chicken Bone From Woman's Lungs After 14 YearsAsiaWire

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.

Doctor with chartPixabay

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.

CT scan shows chicken bone lodged in woman's lungAsiaWire

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.

Chicken bone removed from woman's lungAsiaWire

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.

Woman gives thumbs up after having chicken bone removed from lungAsiaWire

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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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, China, Food, Surgery