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2ft tube in tummy

The Ryles tube removed from a man’s stomach. (Pradip Sanyal)

A Ryles tube, a nasogastric pipe used for feeding and administering drugs to critically-ill patients, has been removed from the stomach of a 45-year-old man apparently three years after he was hospitalised for a head injury.

The more than 2ft-long tube was apparently left inside the stomach of Kalipada Mukherjee when he was admitted to NRS Medical College and Hospital in 2010.

He has been carrying the tube in his stomach without being aware of its existence or any discomfort until bouts of sharp abdominal pain besieged him a fortnight ago.

An endoscopy revealed the cause of his tummy ache and he was admitted to SSKM Hospital last week, where the tube was removed surgically.

Mukherjee, a resident of Jiaganj in Murshidabad, works as a private guard.

He suffered a head injury while visiting his sister in Katihar, Bihar, in 2010. “He fell from a trekker and broke almost every bone in his body,” said son Tonmoy, a BA first-year student.

Mukherjee was warded at NRS for 25 days. Since he was unable to eat, a Ryles tube was inserted through his nose, his family members said.

“My father did not complain of any discomfort after he was discharged. Around a fortnight ago, he started having stomach pain,” Tonmoy said.

Debashis Guha, the medical superintendent of SSKM Hospital, said: “We tried to take the tube out using the laparoscopic procedure. But it could not be done. So he was shifted to general surgery.”

“The tube was taken out after an hour-long surgery. The patient has recovered and will be discharged on Saturday,” said assistant professor Subhashis Saha who led the team of surgeons.

Officials at NRS said they were not aware of Mukherjee’s condition. “No one has informed us,” said an official.

According to doctors, Ryles tubes are mostly 120-200cm long. Generally 60cm of the tube is inserted into a patient’s body.

Doctors said it was unusual for a Ryles tube to slip into the stomach. “It is designed in such a way that the portion outside the body is fitted with a plastic contraption that stops it from slipping in,” a doctor said.

Doctors said Mukherjee was lucky to have escaped serious complications because a Ryles tube — a foreign object — left inside the body could trigger infections. “Things could have turned dangerously critical,” said critical care expert Subrata Maitra.