The case of Phineas Cage is a neuroscience classic: A five-kilo barbell, over a meter long and 2.5 centimeters thick, passed through his head , entered his left cheek, and exited through the top of his skull. propelled by an explosion of gunpowder. Cage survived, but his character changed radically, becoming an outgoing and foul-mouthed person when he had been someone very shy and timid.
But it is not the largest object removed from a human skull (keeping the patient alive). That honor corresponds to another iron bar, specifically a 46-centimeter bit , almost half a meter.
Objects taken from the body
On August 15, 2003, American bricklayer Ron Hunt fell from a ladder face first onto a 46 cm drill bit that passed through his right eye, piercing his skull and exiting above his right ear. The bit displaced Hunt’s brain instead of penetrating it, saving his life.
The heaviest object removed from a stomach, however, was removed in November 2007, when a 4.5 kg trichobezoar (hairball) was removed from the stomach of an 18-year-old girl at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. . The Rapunzel syndrome that the patient suffered from is the result of trichophagia, the compulsive urge to eat hair.
The largest collection of surgically removed foreign bodies corresponds to Chavelier Quixote Jackson , who over a 75-year career, extracted 2,374 objects from the throats, esophagus and lungs of his patients, which are stored in the Chevalier Jackson Foreign Body Collection of the Mütter Museum of the Philadelphia College of Physicians.
The collection has items such as a child’s theater binoculars, a padlock, and a miniature trumpet. It is difficult to imagine that a person could swallow a wristwatch, 3 squirrel vertebrae or a shoe buckle, but it is true.
One of the most horrifying cases he had to face was that of a woman, a psychiatric patient, who removed exactly 1,446 objects from her stomach; including 453 nails, 409 pins, 63 buttons, 42 screws, 5 thimbles and 3 salt and pepper dispensers. He died during the operation.