Man undergoes surgery after finding toy cone stuck in his lung for 40 years

Man undergoes surgery after finding toy cone stuck in his lung for 40 years
PHOTO: BMJ Case Reports

A UK man who suddenly started feeling unwell and coughed up mucus was rushed to hospital for tests over fears he had lung cancer.

What X-Ray results found was even more unexpected - the 47-year-old patient had a small, plastic toy cone wedged in his lung.

He had swallowed the miniature object - wait for it - 40 years ago.

According to Metro news outlet, the man claimed he did not suffer from side effects until recently.

He met a doctor at the Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire once he started feeling under the weather, Metro reported.

The unidentified patient, who reportedly works as a handyman, was initially suspected to have cancer when doctors found a mass in his lungs, said The Daily Mail.

The report added that doctors writing for online medical repository BMJ Case Reports now consider him a medical mystery, due to the length of time that passed without him displaying any symptoms.

Said The Daily Mail, doctors wrote: "To our knowledge this is the first reported case of a tracheobronchial foreign body that was overlooked for 40 years."

Experts have suggested that he was seemingly fine for four decades due to his young age when he inhaled the toy cone. In fact, the patient himself remembers that he had ingested the toy cone, according to The Daily Mail. 

They added that it is also due to the fact that the patient's "airways moulded and adapted round the presence" of the plastic object.

No word on whether the patient had realised he was missing a toy cone back when he was 7 years old.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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