The West

Twelve gold bars removed from Indian man s stomach
Twelve gold bars removed from Indian man's stomach

Doctors can be hard people to shock, but a recent case left one surgeon flabbergasted.

A 63-year-old man came to hospital complaining of vomiting and stomach pain. He claimed he'd swallowed the lid of a bottle in an act of anger during a marital dispute, and was given an x-ray.

Doctors knew what they were seeing was no bottle cap, but it was not until they operated on the man that the source of his complaint was revealed.

Twelve bars of gold weighing nearly 400g were found in the man's stomach and removed.

The BBC reports that police and customs authorities had questioned the businessman and confiscated the gold.

Dr CS Ramachandran, a senior surgeon at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said he had never seen a "case like this in my life".

"This is the first time I have recovered gold from the stomach of a patient," he told the BBC. "I remember having taken out a bladder stone weighing 1kg from a patient. But finding gold in a patient's stomach was something unbelievable," he said.

"It was a tedious three-hour-long operation. He is an old patient and we had to be careful. We found 12 gold bars lying in a stack in his stomach."

Curiously, the businessman had had four previous stomach surgeries and was admitted to the hospital earlier this month with symptoms of "acute intestinal obstruction", Dr Ramachandran added.

India has recently increased taxes and restrictions on gold imports as it has tried to rein in its chronic current-account deficit, according to Forbes. As a result, around 200 tons of gold was likely smuggled into India last year according to World Gold Council estimates.

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