A toddler swallowed more than 200 magnetic balls which went undetected for two months before they started to decay in his stomach.
Surgeons at the Emergency Children's Surgery and Traumatology Research Institute in Moscow, Russia, successfully removed 209 magnetic balls from the two-year-old's stomach recently after he became ill.
The painstaking procedure was performed with an endoscopic device grasping one to four of the balls at a time.
The process was complicated with the operation lasting some two hours.
In the end, the surgeons managed to successfully remove all of the balls, revealing that the youngster was lucky they had remained in his stomach and not travelled to his intestine, which would have required open surgery and could have resulted in a life-threatening perforation of the digestive tract.
The team revealed the toddler was also lucky because some of the balls had developed sharp edges due to the gastric juices in his stomach and could have perforated the organ's membrane.
The child had reportedly swallowed the magnetic balls over two months previously, and it was only when his parents noticed his stools were black – a sign of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract – in mid-January that they sought medical advice.
After contacting doctors, his parents began to notice the appearance of magnetic balls in his stools, and he was referred to the Emergency Children's Surgery and Traumatology Research Institute, who performed an X-ray scan, which revealed the metal mass in his stomach.
The magnetic balls were apparently part of a children's toy that the two-year-old had access to.
Following the successful operation, the boy is now said to be in good health.
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