Doctors Remove Nokia 3310 From Man's Body After He Swallows It

A man who swallowed a Nokia 3310 cellphone underwent a successful procedure earlier this week that potentially saved his life.

Doctors in the city of Pristina, Kosovo—a landlocked state located in southeastern Europe—operated on the 33-year-old man after the phone had been in his stomach for four days.

Skender Teljaku, the doctor who led the medical team that performed the successful operation, posted photos of the phone that was retrieved from the man's stomach on Facebook, as well as X-ray and endoscope images showing the foreign object inside the 33-year-old's body.

The medical team managed to remove the phone without cutting the stomach open, extracting it in three separate parts using special devices known as endoscopes, Teljaku said on Facebook. The doctor also said that there had been "no complications" during the procedure, which lasted for around two hours.

The 33-year-old man decided to visit the hospital in Pristina, Kosovo's capital and largest city, due to the pain he was experiencing after swallowing the phone.

Teljaku told local news outlet Ekspres that the battery was the most hazardous part of the phone because it could explode and release chemicals into the gut of the man, whose life was potentially in danger.

It is not clear how or why the man had swallowed the phone, but Teljaku said the patient recovered well from the procedure and is now in good health.

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According to Ada Health, around 80 percent of non-edible, foreign objects that are accidentally (or intentionally) ingested pass through the body without causing any symptoms at all. Items that are small and rounded are the least likely to cause complications.

The ingestion of larger items, however, or those that are sharp or toxic, may require urgent medical intervention to remove.

Swallowing a non-edible foreign object can produce a variety of symptoms depending on what it is and where in the digestive tract it is located.

Foreign objects in the stomach or intestines, for example, may lead to symptoms such as pain or cramping in the abdomen, abdominal swelling or bloating, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, blood in the stool, and diarrhea or constipation.

Toxic items, such as batteries, can cause further complications when swallowed, including internal burns and deterioration of the soft tissues around the object.

The original release of the model of the phone that the man swallowed, the Nokia 3310, happened 21 years ago. The device gained cult status over the years, in part due to its durability. Nokia has sold 126 million units of the phone worldwide.

A medical procedure
Stock image showing a medical procedure involving the use of endoscopes. Doctors in Kosovo have removed a cellphone from the stomach of a man. iStock