A MAN walked into a hospital with swelling and a small cut under his eye.
After an examination and x ray he was found to have a chopstick lodged in his brain after he was stabbed during an argument with his brother, The Sun reported.
Doctors were shocked to discover 9cm of the bamboo chopstick had penetrated through his eye socket and broken off inside his skull.
The 23-year-old, who has not been named, was in a Chinese restaurant in Arizona, a southwestern state in the US, when he grabbed his brother from behind, who jabbed at him over his right shoulder.
Astonishingly, the man was fully conscious and showed no sign of his injury apart from a swollen right eye when he was admitted to the emergency department 12 hours later.
When doctors examined him, they found he could not move his right eye properly and X-rays revealed the broken shaft of the chopstick passing through the eye socket and deep into his brain.
Surgeons were able to pull out the chopstick intact in an operation at Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Centre in Phoenix, Arizona, leaving the patient with some mild weakness on his left side.
Dr Mark Pruel, a neurosurgeon who treated the patient and director of the Neurosurgery Research Laboratory at the Barrow Neurological Institute, said the man was lucky to have survived his injury.
“This object became directed and inserted into the patient’s brain stem and into the central cerebellum,” he said.
“These are delicate parts of the brain that control automatic functions of the body.
“A penetrating brain injury is quite serious.”
However, he said the patient, who was from a small town in Arizona, had recovered almost completely a year after the surgery.
“The procedure was not all so complicated from usual brain surgery,” he said.
”The complication exists in planning for potential problems and delicately guiding the chopstick out so that the chopstick does not wiggle, or rub, against other structures or create a wider pathway in these delicate brain structures as it is removed.
“Initially the patient had some decrease in visual acuity and had marked weakness on his left side, but 1 year after he only showed mild weakness on the left.
“Most such patients are left with significant eye movement problems along with vision loss and weakness on one side of their body.”
For more stories from The Sun, click here