Saturday, 02 December 2023 04:57

Man suffering from headaches for 5 months discovers chopsticks stuck in his skull

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A Vietnamese man who had been suffering from severe headaches and even loss of vision over the last five months recently learned that he had a pair of chopsticks stuck in his skull.

The unnamed man was recently admitted to the Cuba Friendship Hospital in the city of Dong Hoi, Vietnam’s Quang Binh province, after complaining of constant headaches, vision loss, and fluid discharge from his nose. When asked, the man revealed no possible cause for these symptoms, but a CT scan showed a tension pneumocephalus, the intracranial equivalent of a pneumothorax, as well as two foreign objects protruding from his nose into his brain. Upon thorough examination, the objects were identified as broken chopsticks.

Asked how the chopsticks might have found their way into his skull, the 35-year-old patient was initially as baffled as his doctors, but he later remembered an incident he had been involved in five months prior that could help explain his situation. While out drinking one night, the man got into a physical altercation and ended up in the emergency room. However, doctors there just patched him up and sent him on his way. Now, he assumes the other man stuck the chopsticks into his skull, through the nose, but he doesn’t remember actually happening.

After considering all the options, the medical team decided to perform endoscopic surgery through the nose, combined with microsurgery to close the patient’s cranial fistula and remove the pair of broken chopsticks. According to doctor Nguyen Van Man, Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at Cuba Friendship Hospital, choosing the optimal surgical method is critical to avoid leaving the patient with sequelae.

The 35-year-old man’s condition is stable and he has been discharged from the hospital.

Getting chopsticks stuck in your skull is apparently not as rare as you’d think. Just a couple of years ago, we wrote about a similar case in Taiwan where a woman ended up with chopsticks piercing her brain after an altercation with her sister.


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