Nepal doctors remove metal rods from 'possessed' shaman

Illustrative file photo of an operation.
PHOTO: Nepal doctors remove metal rods from 'possessed' shaman

KATHMANDU - Nepalese surgeons removed four metal rods measuring up to 15 centimetres (six inches) from a shaman, or traditional healer, who had swallowed them during a trance, doctors said Saturday.

The shaman, Janak Bahadur Shahi, 47, was brought to a hospital in mountainous Jumla district, 350 kilometres (220 miles) northwest of the capital Kathmandu, on Thursday suffering from stomach pains, fever and vomiting, doctor Naresh Thapa told AFP.

"We pulled out four rods of 12-15 centimetres (4.7-6.0 inches) in length that had punctured the intestine, causing internal bleeding," Thapa said.

Doctors said he was now out of danger.

The shaman, who claims to have swallowed more than 300 metal rods in his lifetime, had ingested the four rods two months ago when he was "possessed" by a form of the Hindu god Lord Shiva, Thapa said.

When the shaman's pain worsened, his family brought him to hospital, carrying him him for four hours on foot, Thapa said.

Shaman healers and mystics are common in Nepal, especially in remote villages.