In what is being considered a one-of-a-kind case, doctors at a hospital in India successfully removed 40 knives from the stomach of a man who, when asked why he swallowed the sharp seven-inch metal objects, claimed that he "just felt like eating them". The unidentified man said that he picked up the strange addiction over a two-month period.
The risky operation was conducted recently at The Corporate Hospital in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar in northwestern India, by a team of five doctors.
"He had a wild urge to consume metal. Even for us, the experienced surgeons, it was frightening," Dr Jatinder Malhotra, managing director of the hospital said according to The Times of India. "In my 20 years of practice, this is the most dreadful surgery I have ever seen or done."
The man, who Malhotra revealed is a police constable, first visited the hospital complaining of stomach pain. After a series of ultrasounds and CT scans, they found the collection of folding knives, measuring seven inches at full length.
During the two-day surgery that followed, doctors found that while most of the knives were still folded, a few of the weapons had rusted and broken while others were opened.
After the successful operation, the patient spoke to the press and said that he plans to change his diet henceforth. "I will never do such acts ever again. I'm a new person now," he said.
"I don't know why I used to swallow knives. I just enjoyed its taste and I was addicted... how people get addicted to alcohol and other thing, my situation was similar," he attempted to explain of his predilection for the sharp instruments.
Doctors believe this desire to consume knives may have its roots in a psychological problem and have recommended that he receive treatment for the same. As for his taste for metal, Malhotra has a safer option. "We told him if you ever feel like you need more iron in your body, try spinach," he quipped.