Felt-tip pen removed from woman's stomach after 25 years

The felt-tip pen removed after 25 years in a woman's stomach
Image caption Once removed, the pen continued to work

A woman has had a felt-tip pen removed from her stomach 25 years after swallowing it - and the surgeon who operated found the pen still worked.

The surgeon at the Devon and Exeter Hospital wrote "hello" with the pen after removing it from the 76-year-old.

The pen showed up when the woman had a CT scan after suffering weight loss and diarrhoea but it is thought the felt-tip had not caused her any problems.

The procedure was reported in the British Medical Journal.

Neither the woman nor the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital would comment.

Image caption The pen showed up clearly in a scan the woman had after having stomach problems

The BMJ said after the scan and questions from the medical team the patient remembered swallowing the pen 25 years earlier.

She said the pen had slipped while she was holding her tongue down to look at her tonsils.

Both her husband and doctor originally dismissed her story as the pen did not show up on any of the original scans conducted in 1986.

Earlier this year a gastroscopy showed up the plastic felt-tip pen in the stomach, and although it had not caused any damage it was decided it should be removed.

Once removed the surgeon found the pen to be in full working order.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites