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Surgeons have removed 40 metal knives from a patient who spent two months swallowing them, according to the doctor who led the operation.

The unnamed 42-year-old man, who had an ’uncontrollable urge’ to eat the knives, went to a hospital in Gurdaspur in Northern India after complaining of stomach pain and weakness. Only after a ultrasound revealed a large mass in his stomach, did the man tell doctors he had swallowed knives.

Doctors in Amritsar, Punjab, spent five hours last Friday removing the sharp objects from the man’s stomach and found a variety of foldable blades, some about seven inches long when extended.

“He had a wild urge to consume metal. Even for us, the experienced surgeons, it was frightening,” Dr Jatinder Malhotra was quoted.

“We were so nervous a small mistake could have taken the patient’s life. In my 20 years of practice, I have never seen anything like it.”

The team of surgeons, he added, took two days to prepare for the delicate operation.

The doctor said the man possibly suffers from a very rare mental disorder, one that likely has not been recorded in any medical journal.

He said the patient told doctors he was not sure why he started eating the knives, only that he “developed a taste for metal” and “loved the way blades tasted”.

The patient later said that he was feeling better after the surgery and that he was sorry for letting his family down.

“I’ll be forever thankful to doctors and hospital staff for saving my life,” he was quoted saying.

Asked why he swallowed the knives, the man said: “I just enjoyed its taste and I was addicted how people get addicted to alcohol and other things, my situation was similar.”

The man also claimed to have become a “new person” and pledged never to eat knives again.

Dr Jatinder said the man was out of danger for now but is still under hospital supervision. Mental health experts will soon speak to him.

“We told him if you ever feel like you need more iron in your body, try spinach,” the doctor added.


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