Published: Fri, September 29, 2017
Medical | By Carla Vaughn

Doctors remove hidden toy traffic cone from man's lung after 40 years

Doctors remove hidden toy traffic cone from man's lung after 40 years

Once the traffic cone was removed, the patient later admitted to being an inveterate Playmobil-chewer as a child.

Surgery to remove the mass from the man's lung revealed what it really was - a small traffic cone toy he had inadvertently inhaled as a seven-year-old boy. Finally, the 47-year-old from the United Kingdom went to a clinic-and got the surprise of his life.

The unidentified patient, who reportedly works as a handyman, was initially suspected to have cancer when doctors found a mass in his lungs, said The Daily Mail.

Paul, who lives in the village of Croston, Lancs., with his wife Helen, 46, said: "Doctors said they could see something orange down my throat but didn't know what it was".

The mailman "reported that he regularly played with and even swallowed pieces of Playmobil during his childhood", doctors wrote in BMJ Case Reports.

On performing a bronchoscopy, a procedure that allows doctors to look at a patient's airways using a thin instrument known as bronchoscope, doctors at Royal Preston Hospital in Preston found a small Playmobil toy lodged in his lung and removed it with forceps.

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Parents and guardians are strongly recommended to seek medical advice as soon as they realize their children have inhaled an object.

"He may have had symptoms as a child at the time it was aspirated - cough, chest pain, etc. - but these were put down to a transient illness".

The patient had been referred to a respiratory clinic after showing symptoms of coughing and producing mucus following treatment for pneumonia.

The patient, whose name was not released, was a long-term smoker and suffered a cough for more than a year.

His airway "was able to remodel and adapt to the presence of this foreign body", which is most likely why he did not show symptoms until he was 40, the report said.

"The doctor went in with the camera to start with, and he says 'I can see something, ' " the mail worker told the BBC, as reported by the local Manchester Evening News, "and he has little pincers on the end of his camera".

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