Doctors Horrified to Find an Octopus Stuck in a Man’s Throat in Singapore!

by Piya Sengupta2 months ago
Picture Doctors Horrified to Find an Octopus Stuck in a Man’s Throat in Singapore!

Most of us wouldn’t mind a good taste lingering in our mouths after a scrumptious meal. But what if that tasty meal gets too attached and doesn’t want to move on? This is exactly what happened to a man in Singapore when the doctors discovered a half-eaten octopus stuck in the man’s throat after a meal.

The man was feeling uneasy and vomited after having the meal that included this eight-legged sea creature. But little did he know that the cause of his discomfort and swallowing trouble was lodged right in his esophagus.

Sounds freaky, right? Let us read more about the octopus horror story that unfolded in the hospital.

Doctors were shocked to find the octopus stuck in the man’s esophagus.

CT scan
CT Scan A. Image Credit: Cghjournal.org

The doctors at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore had to deal with an unusual case. A 55-year-old man sought medical assistance in the hospital. He was vomiting, had trouble swallowing, and was feeling nauseous after a meal. Images from his CT scan revealed something strange. A very dense object was seen stuck in the man’s esophagus- the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.

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When the doctors investigated further and conducted another gastrointestinal examination called an “esophagogastroduodenoscopy,” it stunned them. A tentacled octopus was lodged two inches from the border of the man’s esophagus and stomach.

CT Scan
CT Scan B. Image Credit: Cghjournal.org

This unfortunate incident that turned a delicacy into a dangerous, life-threatening situation had to be dealt with quickly.

How did the doctors remove the octopus from his throat?

Endoscopy
Representational Image

Getting rid of an octopus stuck in someone’s throat is most likely not the commonest of procedures in any hospital. The doctors discussed a few dislodgement options before removing the eight-legged creature. They discussed the “push technique,” which applies force and extracts the obstacle. Although this has the highest success rate, there are risks involved. Excessive force could cause perforations in the esophagus. The doctors tried to push the octopus down and extract it. But the “push technique” did not work.

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Finally, the doctors used an endoscope, an instrument that allows the doctors to see deep inside a person’s body. They navigated and maneuvered the octopus into the stomach and retroflexed it. Afterward, with the help of forceps, they grasped the head of the octopus and removed it from the man’s esophagus. The patient recovered quickly after the surgery and was discharged after two days.

This is not the first time an octopus was found stuck in someone’s throat.

Uncommon, but not unheard of, octopus hazards have happened in the past. In 2016, a two-year-old boy in Kansas was rushed to the hospital after he stopped breathing. According to the authorities, the octopus may have been intended for sushi.  The doctors found a small, dead octopus with a head of about two inches stuck in his throat. They removed it safely.

Sannakji Dish
Sannakji Dish. Image Credit: LWY/Wikimedia.org

Live octopus is a delicacy in some parts of the world, particularly in South Korea and Japan. But if not prepared or consumed properly, it can turn fatal because the suckers make octopuses a real choking hazard. “Sannakji” is a live octopus dish in South Korea that is considered a delicacy. Several deaths occur each year from choking on sannakji.

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Most deaths occur when the octopuses stick to the sides of the throat, causing the person to choke. In this particular delicacy, sometimes the tentacles are cut longer, or the octopus gets eaten whole, which increases the risks involved.

In 80-90% of the cases, the stuck food problem resolves itself. Only in very rare cases is surgery required. The incident in Singapore happened in 2018, and it’s been only recently that the doctors have shared the story. The man, whose name remains undisclosed, has probably not eaten octopus again for a long time! The strange incident serves as a reminder to be cautious and mindful of what we eat because exotic food or delicacies can turn dangerous in no time!

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Picture Doctors Horrified to Find an Octopus Stuck in a Man’s Throat in Singapore!
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